A scoping review of caregiver burden during allogeneic HSCT: lessons learned and future directions

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Abstract

The extant literature documents burden among caregivers of patients undergoing a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), but little is known about the burden of caregivers of patients receiving outpatient and homebound HSCTs. This scoping study sought to evaluate what is known about the burden of the increasing number of adult caregivers of patients receiving outpatient HSCTs and to create practice guidelines for how to best support this vulnerable group. Online databases were searched for studies that evaluated caregiver burden in adult caregivers of HSCT patients since 2010 (the publication date of the most recent systematic review on HSCT caregiver burden). Of the 1271 articles retrieved, 12 met the inclusion criteria, though none specifically examined outpatient or homebound caregivers. Overall, studies corroborated existing literature on the experience of significant burden among HSCT caregivers across the HSCT trajectory, and highlighted the emotional costs of outpatient transplants on caregivers and the need to identify caregivers at high risk for burden early in the transplant process. Future studies of outpatient caregivers should include a comprehensive assessment of burden and seek to identify points along the transplant trajectory at which caregivers are at particular risk for negative outcomes and when intervention is most appropriate.

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