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Oncol Nurs Forum. 1992 Jan-Feb;19(1):31-7.

Quality of life: perceptions of long-term survivors of bone marrow transplantation.

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Evanston Hospital, IL.


Although bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is a rapidly growing treatment option for a variety of malignant and hematologic diseases, little is known about the quality of life of BMT recipients following transplantation. The purpose of this study was to describe the perceptions of long-term survivors of BMT regarding the quality of their lives. Twenty-four adults who were one to three years post-BMT participated in the study. Subjects completed a general information questionnaire and the cancer version of the Quality of Life Index (QLI). They also were interviewed regarding their perceptions of the quality of their lives. Approximately 92% of QLI scores were in the upper half of the possible range of scores, suggesting that the majority of BMT recipients perceived the quality of their lives to be acceptable. After having faced a life-threatening illness, many expressed that they were leading fuller, more meaningful lives. Family had a strong positive influence on overall quality-of-life perceptions. The subjects' greatest concerns centered around issues related to health and employment. Although many felt ill-prepared for the recovery period, only one subject indicated that he would not make the same decision to undergo BMT if again given the choice. Despite the tremendous stressors associated with the BMT experience, most subjects demonstrated effective adjustment and shared an optimistic outlook for the future. With this greater appreciation for recipients' perceptions, nurses can be better prepared to anticipate the needs of these individuals and to foster adaptation in the post-BMT period.

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