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Impact of Telehealth Visit and Socioeconomic Status (SES) on Hydroxyurea Response in Sickle Cell Anemia
  • +3
  • Sarah Shaner,
  • Lee Hilliard,
  • Thomas Howard,
  • Brandi Pernell,
  • Smita Bhatia,
  • Jeffrey Lebensburger
Sarah Shaner
The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine
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Lee Hilliard
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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Thomas Howard
University of Alabama-Birmingham
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Brandi Pernell
University of Alabama-Birmingham
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Smita Bhatia
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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Jeffrey Lebensburger
University of Alabama-Birmingham
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Abstract

Background It is important to ensure access to hydroxyurea (HU) for patients with sickle cell anemia (SCA) living in rural areas without easy access to experts in sickle cell management. The UAB Pediatric Sickle Cell program’s satellite clinics reduce the barrier of transportation to the university-based clinic. However, as compared to the university clinic, these satellite clinics do not offer immediate access to HU dosing laboratory results. Therefore, a nurse clinician calls families with HU dose adjustments after the completion of the clinic visit. This study evaluated the impact of telehealth dosing adjustments on HU laboratory and clinical response as compared to university-based patients. Methods A one year retrospective chart reviewed was performed to evaluate HU laboratory and clinical response based on clinic location and socioeconomic status for patients with SCA. We identified the number of clinic and acute care visits for one year and calculated the mean CBC and HbF values for each patient. Results We identified 107 academic center participants with SCA prescribed HU and 65 satellite clinic participants. We identified no difference in HbF, Hb, MCV, or ANC by clinic location. We also identified no difference in hospital admissions based on clinic location. Finally, mean socioeconomic indicators by zip code were lower in satellite clinic patients but not associated with a difference in HbF response. Conclusions The use of telehealth did not negatively impact laboratory response to HU. Future studies should identify novel approaches to improve access to HU among patients with SCA living in rural areas.

Peer review status:IN REVISION

06 May 2021Submitted to Pediatric Blood & Cancer
06 May 2021Assigned to Editor
06 May 2021Submission Checks Completed
07 May 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
02 Jun 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
02 Jun 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major