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Cultural Therapeutic Awareness and Sickle Cell Anemia

Sage Publications
Publication Date
  • Education
  • Medicine


Sickle cell anemia is a hereditary blood disorder in which abnormal red blood cells damage the cerebrovascular system as well as organs such as the liver and spleen. Children with sickle cell anemia manifest high mortality rates, depression, pain, strokes, and social maladjustment. Interventions often challenge the family’s beliefs and attitudes. A cognitive behavioral approach, the Health Belief Model, was offered as a strategic option in working with African American clients diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. Two descriptive case studies were presented. Whereas one case illustrated a lack of a coordinated system of care, the other demonstrated the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary system of services. The purpose of this article is to present a brief description of the medical, neurological, and psychoeducational problems caused by sickle cell anemia and to suggest that services be provided by culturally competent, systems-oriented professionals.

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