Accepted Paper:

Living with thalassemia in Cyprus  

Authors:

Costas Constantinou (University of Nicosia Medical School)
Christina Loizou (RUBSI - Reseasrch Unit in Behaviour and Social Issues)
Constantinos Phellas (University of Nicosia)

Paper short abstract:

This paper presents a qualitative analysis of the experiences of ten patients with thalassemia in Cyprus and their partners.

Paper long abstract:

Through a screening programme implemented in the 1970s, Cyprus has managed to control the birth of children with Thalassemia. In the 1990s the number of births of children with Thalassemia dropped to zero, while today there are about six hundred patients with Thalassemia who are under systematic blood transfusion and iron-chelation therapy. Based on in-depth interviews with ten patients and their partners, this paper explores what it means to live with Thalassemia in Cyprus. The paper discusses how patients deal the challenge of stigma and balancing between a demanding therapy schedule and a busy social life. The participants were selected from the registry of the Cyprus Thalassemia Organisation, the interviews were audio recorded, transcribed and analysed through Atlas Ti software. This qualitative research is part of a larger study which explores the quality of life of patients with Thalassemia in Cyprus and is co-funded by the Republic of Cyprus and the European Regional Development Fund. The study has been approved by the Cyprus National Bioethics Committee.

Panel P098
Living with chronic illness: challenges and perspectives across borders