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Hydroxyurea therapy for children with sickle cell disease: describing how caregivers make this decision.

Creary S, Zickmund S, Ross D, Krishnamurti L, Bogen DL. Hydroxyurea therapy for children with sickle cell disease: describing how caregivers make this decision. BMC research notes. 2015 Aug 25; 8(1):372.

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BACKGROUND: Hydroxyurea (HU) is underutilized in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) because caregivers frequently decline HU when it is offered. This study explores what impacts this decision. RESULTS: Caregivers of children with clinically severe SCD whose children were offered HU previously were interviewed. We used a qualitative analytical approach to analyze their telephone interview transcripts. Caregivers who chose HU (n = 9) reported their children had severe SCD, sought detailed information about HU, and accepted HU as a preventative therapy. In contrast, caregivers who did not choose HU (n = 10) did not perceive their children as having severe SCD and did not question their child's provider about HU. CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies specific areas that providers should address to when they discuss HU with families so that they can make informed decisions. Our study also uncovered factors that are important to consider when designing future interventions to improve hydroxyurea acceptance and when developing decision-aid tools to assist caregivers of children with SCD who are considering disease modifying therapies.

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