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Satisfaction with home blood sampling methods and expectations for future point-of-care testing in phenylketonuria: Perspectives from patients and professionals.

INTRODUCTION: Phenylketonuria (PKU) requires regular phenylalanine monitoring to ensure optimal outcome. However, home sampling methods used for monitoring suffer high pre-analytical variability, inter-laboratory variability and turn-around-times, highlighting the need for alternative methods of home sampling or monitoring.

METHODS: A survey was distributed through email and social media to (parents of) PKU patients and professionals working in inherited metabolic diseases in Denmark, The Netherlands, and United Kingdom regarding satisfaction with current home sampling methods and expectations for future point-of-care testing (POCT).

RESULTS: 210 parents, 156 patients and 95 professionals completed the survey. Countries, and parents and patients were analysed together, in absence of significant group differences for most questions. Important results are: 1) Many patients take less home samples than advised. 2) The majority of (parents of) PKU patients are (somewhat) dissatisfied with their home sampling method, especially with turn-around-times (3-5 days). 3) 37% of professionals are dissatisfied with their home sampling method and 45% with the turn-around-times. 4) All responders are positive towards developments for POCT: 97% (n = 332) of (parents of) patients is willing to use a POC-device and 76% (n = 61) of professionals would recommend their patients to use a POC-device. 5) Concerns from all participants for future POC-devices are costs/reimbursements and accuracy, and to professionals specifically, accessibility to results, over-testing, patient anxiety, and patients adjusting their diet without consultation.

CONCLUSION: The PKU community is (somewhat) dissatisfied with current home sampling methods, highlighting the need for alternatives of Phe monitoring. POCT might be such an alternative and the community is eager for its arrival.

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