Patients experience a decline in quality of life (QOL) and mood during hospitalization for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT), and these declines are predictive of QOL impairment and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at 6 months post-HCT, a study published online ahead of print in Cancer has found.1

This prospective longitudinal study of patients hospitalized for HCT was conducted to measure the impact of the deterioration in patients’ QOL and PTSD symptoms after HCT.

The investigators used the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Bone Marrow Transplantation (FACT-BMT) to assess QOL. The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) was administered at admission for HCT, during hospitalization, and 6 months after HCT hospitalization to assess depression and anxiety symptoms. PTSD symptoms were assessed using the PTSD Checklist. Predictors of QOL and PTSD symptoms were identified via multivariable linear regression models at 6 months.

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The investigators enrolled 90 of 93 consecutively eligible patients undergoing autologous and allogeneic HCT. At 6 months, data were available for 67 participants; 28.4% met the criteria for PTSD and 43.3% had clinically significant depression.

Worse QOL and PTSD symptoms were predicted based on changes in QOL and depression scores from week 2 of hospitalization to baseline on multivariable regression analyses adjusting for significant covariates at 6 months after HCT.

“A decline in QOL and an increase in depressive symptoms during hospitalization for HCT were found to be the most important predictors of 6-month QOL impairment and PTSD symptoms,” the investigators conclude. Managing symptoms of depression and QOL deterioration during hospitalization for HCT may be critical to improving QOL and PTSD risk at 6 months for these patients.


1. El-Jawahri AR, Vandusen HB, Traeger LN, et al. Quality of life and mood predict posttraumatic stress disorder after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation [published online ahead of print December 9, 2015]. Cancer. doi:10.1002/cncr.29818.