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Fellowship Research Project Funded in 2010

Specialized care of patients with bleeding disorders / Validation of a clinical history assessment tool for bleeding disorders

Dr. Menaka Pai
Department of Medicine
McMaster University
One year funding.

Bleeding problems are common in the general population but can be challenging to assess. This is because healthy people can experience some types of bleeding (e.g. mild bruises and nosebleeds) and because abnormal bleeding is sometimes mild. To assess patients with possible bleeding problems, doctors traditionally ask many questions about excessive bleeding. Patients often find it difficult to answer so many questions during an appointment and doctors are unsure which questions are most important. A short standardized questionnaire would be helpful to ensure that patients are asked important questions about bleeding using language that is easy to understand. Our research group has collected a large amount of information on the symptoms and laboratory findings for over 300 patients with bleeding problems and a group of 99 healthy people. We analyzed this information to develop a short questionnaire. During my fellowship, I will give this new short questionnaire to a large group of patients and healthy people to fill out to explore what symptoms are common in patients with the most common types of bleeding disorders (undefined bleeding disorders and platelet secretion defects) and what their risks of bleeding are. I am optimistic that the new short questionnaire will help doctors identify patients who probably have blood clotting problems and need to undergo further testing. It will also help us learn more about the most common types of bleeding disorders and how they can impact patient's lives. This research has the potential to improve patient care by finding the best way to assess bleeding symptoms in different types of bleeding disorders and finding out when bleeding problems need to be treated.