Publication Abstract

Authors: Bevans MF, Mitchell SA, Barrett JA, Bishop MR, Childs R, Fowler D, Krumlauf M, Prince P, Shelburne N, Wehrlen L, Yang L

Title: Symptom distress predicts long-term health and well-being in allogeneic stem cell transplantation survivors.

Journal: Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 20(3):387-95

Date: 2014 Mar

Abstract: The number of survivors after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) continues to increase, yet their survivorship experience has not been fully characterized. This study examines the health status and health-related quality of life (HRQL) of HSCT survivors. The aims of the study were to: (1) explore the baseline and change over time in these health outcomes, and (2) characterize subgroups experiencing adverse outcomes. In this longitudinal study, adults who survived >3 years from date of allogeneic HSCT completed a series of patient-reported outcome measures annually, including measures of health status, HRQL, and symptoms. Data were analyzed using hierarchical linear modeling. Subjects (N = 171) were on average 44 (±13.5) years of age and primarily male (62.6%); 40% were Hispanic. Mean scores for physical and mental health and HRQL were preserved relative to population norms. Hierarchical linear modeling revealed no significant change in the mean trajectories of these outcomes, although significant between-individual variability was observed. When controlling for demographic and clinical factors, physical symptom distress negatively affected all outcomes. The impact of symptom distress on physical health varied based on time since HSCT; impairment in physical health was greatest in survivors experiencing high symptom distress and who were within the first decade post transplantation. Extended treatment with systemic immunosuppressive therapy also predicted inferior physical health. These findings suggest that patient-centered outcomes are preserved relative to normative values and are generally stable after allogeneic HSCT, although survivors with persistent symptoms and those receiving systemic immunosuppression experience impairments in health status and HRQL.