Achieving self-management of prophylactic treatment in adolescents: The case of haemophilia

Liesbeth Schrijvers*, Marlène Beijlevelt-Van der Zande, Marjolein Peters, Janske Lock, Marjon Cnossen, Marieke Schuurmans, Kathelijn Fischer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective Adolescents with a chronic disorder, such as haemophilia, need to attain responsibility for their disease. The aim was to gain insight into how adolescents achieve self-management of prophylactic treatment. Methods In three Dutch Haemophilia Treatment Centres, adolescents (10–25 years) received structured questions on treatment responsibility and self-management (pre-specified definitions) during routine nursing consultation. Results In total, 155 interviews were performed in 100 patients (median age 14.4 years). Self-infusion was initiated at a median age of 12.3 years (IQR 11.5–13.0) and self-management was achieved 9.6 years later, at a median age of 22.6 years. This process included three phases coinciding with known stages of adolescence. In early adolescence, patients acquired the technique of self-infusion (12.3 years) leading to independent self-infusion in middle adolescence (17.2 years). In late adolescence, patients demonstrated an increase in more complex skills, such as bleeding management and communication with the haemophilia physician (19.9–22.6 years). Conclusion Although, the first steps in self-management with regard to self-infusion are taken in early adolescence, complete self-management was achieved in late adolescence after almost 10 years. Practice implications Insight in this transitional process helps to provide individualized support and emphasizes the need for continued education with regard to self-management skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1183
Number of pages5
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Home treatment
  • Learning
  • Prophylaxis
  • Responsibility
  • Self-infusion
  • Transition


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