Authors: MAJID NADERI, SAMIRA ESMAEILI REYKANDE, SHADI TABIBIAN, SHABAN ALIZADEH, AKBAR DORGALALEH, MORTEZA SHAMSIZADEH
Abstract: Background/aim: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) accounts for 25% of all malignancies in children. ALL treatment has standard protocols, and treatment abandonment is a main cause of treatment failure. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the relationship between socioeconomic status and rate as well as cause of abandoned treatment in children with ALL in the southeast of Iran. Materials and methods: This retrospective, descriptive cohort study was conducted with ALL patients at the Ali Asghar Hospital in the city of Zahedan. The study population included 22 children with different subtypes of ALL who had abandoned their treatment. A structural questionnaire was filled out by patients or their parents. Results were assessed using descriptive and analytical tests. Results: The rate of treatment abandonment was 24.4% (22 patients).We had 18 ALL-L1 (78.3%) and four ALL-L2 (17.4%) patients. Reasons for treatment abandonment were low family income, transportation difficulties, the father's education status, conviction about ALL's incurability, and reference to spiritual means, respectively. Conclusion: Low family income, transportation difficulties, the father's education status, belief about ALL's incurability, and reference to spiritual means were the most common associations with ALL treatment abandonment in that order. Financial problems in this part of the country can impose high costs to the healthcare system.
Keywords: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, treatment abandonment, socioeconomic status
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