The Effect of “Friends” Program Training on the Loneliness of 8-18 Years Old Children with Thalassemia Major in Golestan Province of Iran
Keywords:Friends program, loneliness, children, thalassemia major
Introduction: Beta thalassemia is an inherited genetic disorder that is associated with severe physical and
mental illnesses. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of “Friends” program training on the
loneliness of children with thalassemia major at thalassemia centers of Golestan.
Materials and Methods: This quasi-intervention study with two intervention and control groups was
conducted on 50 children with thalassemia major aged 8-18 years referred to thalassemia centers in Golestan
province in 2019. In the intervention group, the Friends program training was carried out in ten 60-minute
long sessions. Demographic information form and Asher’s children loneliness questionnaire were the tools
used for data collection. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS software version 25 at the significance
level of P < 0.05.
Results: The results showed that, the mean score of loneliness before the intervention was 33.32 ± 10.61
in the intervention group and 41.4 ± 12.20 in the control group. The mean score of loneliness after the
intervention decreased to 28.36 ± 7.74 in the intervention group, and 40.68 ± 11.68 in the control group.
The ANCOVA test showed a significant difference in the mean score of loneliness after the intervention by
removing the effect of pretest (P = 0.01).
Conclusion: The use of Friends program training can be considered as an efficient method in improving
medical outcomes related to the loneliness of children with thalassemia and limiting unnecessary health care
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