Quality of Life After Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Pediatric Survivors: Comparison With Healthy Controls and Risk Factors

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Abstract

Background:

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has prolonged life for children with life-threatening diseases. Quality of life is an essential outcome for evaluating the long-term effects of transplantation.

Objective:

The aims of this study were to compare the quality of life of children posttransplantation to that of healthy peers and explore the variables associated with the quality of life of posttransplant children.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study was conducted with 43 pediatric transplantation survivors and 43 age- and sex-matched healthy peers.

Results:

The mean age of the transplant group was 12.06 years. The mean time since transplant was 3.73 years. After covariate adjustment, there was no difference between posttransplant and healthy children in each domain and overall quality of life, except for physical functioning where the posttransplant children had lower scores than did the healthy group. Chronic graft-versus-host disease was found to be the primary factor associated with poor posttransplant overall quality of life and emotional and social functioning. Sociodemographic variables, symptom distress, and caregiver depression were not correlated with posttransplant quality of life.

Conclusions:

The quality of life of pediatric transplantation survivors was comparable to that of healthy peers.

Implications for Practice:

The finding that children after transplant may achieve quality of life similar to their healthy peers is important information for parents to consider as they consider treatment options. For those sick children who cannot regularly attend school, their emotional and social functioning should be closely monitored.

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