Assessment of health-related quality of life among adults hospitalized with sickle cell disease vaso-occlusive crisis

Blood Adv. 2020 Jan 14;4(1):19-27. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000128.


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is characterized by painful vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs). Self-reported pain intensity is often assessed with the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), whereas newer patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) assess multidimensional pain in SCD. We describe pain experiences among hospitalized adults with VOCs, using 2 PROMs: the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Global Health and the Adult Sickle Cell Quality of Life Measurement System (ASCQ-Me). Adults with SCD hospitalized with VOCs at 2 academic centers in Boston, Massachusetts, from April 2016 to October 2017 were eligible. Participants completed the NRS and PROMs at admission and 7 days postdischarge. PROM scores were described and compared with population norms. Length of stay (LOS) and 30-day readmission rates were assessed. Forty-two (96%) of 44 eligible patients consented and completed admission assessments. Mean age was 30.2 years (standard deviation, 9.1), 60% were women, 76% were non-Hispanic black, and 64% had hemoglobin SS. Twenty-seven participants (64%) completed postdischarge assessments. Sixty percent had ≥4 VOCs in the last year. Nearly all PROMIS Global Health and ASCQ-Me scores were worse than population norms. NRS and PROMIS Global Physical Health scores improved after discharge, the latter driven principally by improvements in pain. Overall median LOS was 7 days, and 30-day readmission rate was 40.5%. Administration of PROMs among adults with SCD hospitalized for VOCs is feasible and demonstrates participants experienced recurrent, prolonged, and severe VOCs. PROMIS Global and ASCQ-Me scores indicated substantial suffering, and the striking 30-day readmission rate highlights the vulnerability of these patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aftercare
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell* / complications
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain
  • Patient Discharge
  • Quality of Life*