Impact of the type of hematopoietic stem-cell transplant on quality of life and psychopathology


Background and purpose – Despite the decrease in transplant-related mortality, patients who receive hematopoietic stemcell transplants often suffer from short-and long-term morbidities, poorer quality of life, and psychosocial functioning deficits. Several studies have compared the quality of life and affective symptoms of patients after undergoing autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplants. Some studies have reported similar or greater quality of life impairments in allogeneic hematopoietic stemcell recipients, but the findings have been inconsistent. Our purpose was to examine the influence of the type of hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation on the quality of life and affective symptoms of patients.

Methods – The study sample comprised 121 patients with various hematological diseases who underwent hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation at St. István and St. László Hospitals, Budapest. The study had a cross-sectional design. Quality of life was evaluated using the Hungarian version of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy– Bone Marrow Transplant scale (FACT-BMT). Anxiety and depressive symptoms were assessed using Spielberger’s State and Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), respectively. Basic sociodemographic and clinical variables were also recorded. Comparisons between autologous and allogeneic recipients were analyzed using a t-test when the variables were normally distributed and a Mann–Whitney U test otherwise. A stepwise multiple linear regression analysis was performed to identify the risk factors that contributed to the quality of life and the affective symptoms in each group.

Results – Quality of life (p=0.83) and affective symptoms (pBDI=0.24; pSSTAI=0.63) were similar between the autologous and allogeneic transplant groups. The BDI scores of allogeneic transplant patients indicated mild depression, but their STAI scores were similar to those of the general population. Allogeneic transplant patients with symptoms of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) experienced more severe clinical conditions (p=0.01), poorer functional status (p<0.01) and received more immunosuppressive treatment (p<0.01) than those without graft versus host disease. Patients suffering from graft versus host disease experienced more severe depression (p=0.01), and constant anxiety (p=0.03) than those without graft versus host disease. Quality of life was affected by depressive and anxiety symptoms and psychiatric comorbidity in both the allogeneic and autologous groups.

Conclusion – Graft versus host disease-related severe somatic complaints seemed to influence the allogeneic transplant patients’ quality of life by inducing depressive and anxiety symptoms.


Quality of life, Psychopathology, Anxiety, Depression, Hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation

Link to Publisher Version (URL)


This document is currently not available here.

Find in your library