The following article features coverage from the American Society of Hematology 2019 Annual Meeting. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.

Caregivers of patients with lymphoma or plasma cell disorders experience financial burdens in the period soon after outpatient autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), according to results of a study presented at the 61st American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, held in Orlando, Florida.

According to the study investigators, outpatient ASCT may be linked to lower direct health care costs. The research team set out to evaluate quality of life (QOL) and indirect costs for both patients and caregivers by analyzing these outcomes for both inpatient and outpatient ASCTs through questionnaires administered at baseline and at 4 time points during the initial 100 days following ASCT.

Patients (N=68) and caregivers (N=54) were given multiple questionnaires to assess QOL, and caregivers were additionally given a questionnaire to assess financial burden. A total of 41 patients undergoing outpatient ASCT and 27 undergoing inpatient ASCT were evaluated. Spouses were the most common caregivers (74%).

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At 100 days after ASCT, caregivers reported higher QOL than at day 0 (P <.05), and their overall QOL did not differ based on outpatient or inpatient ASCT. Outpatient caregivers showed a trend of more opportunity costs, such as lost wages, from day 0 through the first 2 weeks following ASCT. Primary caregivers incurred a mean overall cost of Can$4475 during the first 100 days after ASCT.

For patients, QOL decreased throughout much of the study period following ASCT, with some metrics showing improvements at day 100. Most QOL results for patients did not significantly differ by outpatient or inpatient status across the study period, but outpatients reportedly showed worse QOL at day 14 following ASCT, especially manifesting as fatigue.

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Overall, patient and caregiver QOL did not seem to vary by outpatient or inpatient care when considering the total study period, but caregivers reported a trend of greater financial burden, particularly soon after outpatient ASCT, in the form of opportunity costs.

Disclosure: Multiple authors declared affiliations with industry. Please refer to the original abstract for a full list of disclosures.


Dhir V, Zibdawi L, Paul HK, et al. Quality of life and caregiver burden in patients and their caregivers undergoing outpatient autologous stem cell transplantation compared to inpatient transplantation. Oral presentation at: 61st ASH Annual Meeting & Exposition; December 7-10, 2019; Orlando, FL. Abstract 62.