Influence of Working Memory on Academic Achievement and Quality of Life in Children with Beta-Thalassemia Major
Uni Gamayani1, *, Ni Luh Meidha Dini Lestari1, Ahmad Rizal Ganiem1, Ramdan Panigoro2
1 Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Padjadjaran/ Hasan Sadikin General Hospital, Jalan Pasteur no 38, Indonesia
2 Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Padjadjaran/ Hasan Sadikin General Hospital, RSP Unpad, Jalan Eijkman No 38, Indonesia
Children with beta-thalassemia major may suffer from working memory impairment. For a more refined understanding of this issue, we assessed working memory function in beta-thalassemia children and evaluated its influence on academic achievement and quality of life.
This was a cross-sectional study involving 60 beta-thalassemia children aged 8-12 years. All participants underwent a working memory assessment using the digit span and were interviewed using academic achievement and Indonesian version of PedsQL 4.0 questionnaires. Working memory in beta-thalassemia children significantly influences their quality of life, both directly (β=0.32) and indirectly, through their academic achievement (β=0.639). Longer duration of transfusion (p=0.01) is significantly related to poorer working memory, while lower hemoglobin level (p=0.81) and higher ferritin level (p=0.24) are not significantly associated with working memory.
We concluded that working memory influences the quality of life in beta-thalassemia children, both directly and indirectly, through their academic achievement.
Keywords: Academic achievement, Digit span, PedsQL, Quality of life, Thalassemia, Working memory.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Padjadjaran/ Hasan Sadikin General Hospital, Jalan Pasteur no 38, Indonesia; Tel: +62222036984; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org