Understanding the Health Literacy in Patients With Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Hemasphere. 2020 Aug 11;4(4):e462. doi: 10.1097/HS9.0000000000000462. eCollection 2020 Aug.


Following an acute thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) episode, patients are at risk for relapse, and a careful long-term follow-up is needed. Adherence to the follow-up by patients implies a good understanding of the disease. However, TTP literacy in patients is currently unknown. To explore the TTP literacy in patients and identify factors associated with poor disease understanding, a questionnaire was developed focusing on patient's characteristics, knowledge about TTP and patients' actions in an emergency. The questionnaire was presented to 120 TTP patients in remission from the French National Registry for Thrombotic Microangiopathies. TTP literacy was low in 24%, intermediate in 43% and high in 33% of the patients. Low TTP literacy was associated with older age and low education level. Among the knowledge gaps identified, few patients knew that plasma exchange in acute phase is mandatory and has to be done daily (39%), 47% of participants did not consider themselves at risk for relapse, and 30% of women did not know that pregnancy exposes them to a greater risk of relapse. Importantly, few patients responded about life-saving actions in an emergency. Hence, the design of educational material should pay special attention to the age and education level of the target population focusing on the events leading to TTP, the importance of the emergency treatment, controllable predisposing factors for TTP development and patient attitude in an emergency.