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Revista Española de Salud Pública

versão On-line ISSN 2173-9110versão impressa ISSN 1135-5727


PARAMO RODRIGUEZ, Lucía; ZURRIAGA LLORENS, Óscar; GONZALEZ SANJUAN, Mª Eugenia  e  CAVERO CARBONELL, Clara. Wilson disease: the look of medical staff, patients and family members. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2019, vol.93, e201904014.  Epub 07-Set-2020. ISSN 2173-9110.


Wilson disease (WD) is a rare congenital disease that causes hepatic, neurological or lenticular degeneration due to the accumulation of copper. Sometimes it is incapacitating with implications in the quality of life of those affected and their families. The objective of this work was to identify the needs of medical staff and the social and emotional needs of patients with WD and their families.


A qualitative research was developed in the Valencian Region during 2015-2016, five interviews with medical staff and two focus groups were made, one with family members and another with patients using a script divided into: diagnosis, treatment, health care and quality of life. The information was collected in audio/video and transcribed. An analysis of discourse (professional vs family/affected) determining needs was made.


Medical staff felt away from the emotional needs of families and patients and need more information in order to facilitate an early diagnosis. Families expressed difficulties regarding the treatment’s adherence, especially when those patients are teenagers who have doubts about the cooper-free diet. Patients had problems with the treatment’s instructions. Also, those with neurological problems felt stigmatised by the physical consequences.


Medical staff need more knowledge about this pathology. Better educational training for them would facilitate the diagnosis. Families and patients need more information about the guidelines for the treatment’s administration and foods that should be excluded from the diet. The correct administration of the treatment will allow those affected to improve their quality of life with a total or partial recovery of their symptoms.

Palavras-chave : Wilson disease; Rare disease; Research qualitative; Early diagnosis; Focus group; Interview.

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