Health-Related Quality of Life among Pediatric Hematopoietic Stem Cell Donors

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Abstract

Objectives

To examine health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among sibling pediatric hematopoietic stem cell donors from predonation through 1 year postdonation, to compare donor-reported HRQoL scores with proxy-reports by parents/guardians and those of healthy norms, and to identify predonation factors (including donor age) potentially associated with postdonation HRQoL, to better understand the physical and psychosocial effects of pediatric hematopoietic stem cell donation.

Study design

A random sample of 105 pediatric donors from US centers and a parent/guardian were interviewed by telephone predonation and 4 weeks and 1 year postdonation. The interview included sociodemographic, psychosocial, and HRQoL items. A sample of healthy controls matched to donors by age, gender, and race/ethnicity was generated.

Results

Key findings included (1) approximately 20% of donors at each time point had very poor HRQoL; (2) child self-reported HRQoL was significantly lower than parent proxy-reported HRQoL at all 3 time points and significantly lower than that of norms at predonation and 4 weeks postdonation; and (3) younger children were at particular risk of poor HRQoL.

Conclusions

Additional research to identify the specific sources of poorer HRQoL among at-risk donors (eg, the donation experience vs having a chronically ill sibling) and the reasons that parents may be overestimating HRQoL in their donor children is critical and should lead to interventions and policy changes that ensure positive experiences for these minor donors.

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