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Rare Disease AdvisorAre Home-Based Therapies the Way Forward for SCD Treatment?

An aging global population and a surge in total population numbers are putting immense pressure on healthcare facilities.

As global healthcare systems face increasing strain due to aging populations and rising patient numbers, home-based therapies emerge as a potential solution, especially for conditions like sickle cell disease (SCD).

Key Points:

  • The Japanese government warns of a potential breakdown in the social contract due to a falling birth rate, highlighting the need for sustainable healthcare solutions.
  • Traditional healthcare settings, like hospitals, are becoming overwhelmed, as seen in places like Borneo.
  • Home-based therapies are being proposed as a solution to alleviate some of this pressure.
  • A study in Health Expectations by Poku et al. focused on home self-management for children and young people with SCD.
  • Out of 20 studies analyzed on home-based therapies, five (5) reported positive impacts on self-efficacy, with some patients noting better coping mechanisms, especially concerning pain.

Additional Points:

  • Patients’ perceptions of “self-management interventions” vary, with some viewing them as general self-management, others focusing on pain management, and some considering them as cognitive-behavioral skill training.
  • A study in PLoS One by Phillips and colleagues identified barriers to care for SCD patients, including a lack of disease management knowledge, inadequate caregiver support, and challenges with increasing disease severity.


  • Empowering SCD patients with skills to manage their condition outside clinical settings can significantly improve their quality of life, emphasizing the potential of home-based therapies.

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Did You Know?
Sickle cell disease affects approximately 100,000 Americans, with 1 out of every 365 African American births being diagnosed with the condition.

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