Perceptions of young adults with sickle cell disease concerning their disease experience

Nadine Matthie, Jill Hamilton, Diana Wells, Coretta Jenerette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aim: To describe the perceptions of young adults with sickle cell disease concerning their disease experience. Background: Sickle cell disease is a lifelong, genetic condition with both acute and chronic painful exacerbations. Little is known of the experiences of young adults with sickle cell disease. Design: This study used a qualitative, descriptive design with semi-structured, life review interviews. Methods: Between August 2010-September 2012, purposive sampling was used to recruit participants with a known sickle cell disease diagnosis who were ages 18-35 years, were being seen in an outpatient sickle cell clinic and were English speaking. Participants provided demographic information and responded to two interviews. A content analysis was then used to interpret participants' narratives of their experiences of living with sickle cell disease. Results/findings: A sample of 29 young adults with sickle cell disease consisted of 79·3% females, 35·6% employed full-time or part-time, 71·6% single/never married and 57·8% with sickle cell anaemia. Their mean age was 25·8 with 13·2 years of education. Four major interview themes were identified: (1) struggles to maintain or achieve good quality of life or life satisfactions; (2) strategies to maintain self-care; (3) interruptions to family, work and social roles; and (4) difficulties accessing needed health care. Conclusion: Young adults face many challenges while living with sickle cell disease. With a better understanding of their disease experience and how it influences their quality of life, researchers can begin tailoring appropriate interventions to improve health outcomes in this vulnerable, minority population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1441-1451
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Chronic disease challenges
  • Chronic disease management
  • Nursing
  • Sickle cell
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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