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Bone Marrow Transplant. 1998 Mar;21(5):477-86.

Quality of life and psychological distress of bone marrow transplant recipients: the 'time trajectory' to recovery over the first year.

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Comprehensive Cancer Center, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1082, USA.


The purpose of this study was to measure the trajectory of psychosocial recovery over the first year after bone marrow transplantation (BMT). BMT patients were assessed at baseline (n = 86), hospital discharge (n = 74), 100 days (n = 64) and at 1 year (n = 45). Participants completed the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Bone Marrow Transplant Scale (FACT-BMT), the Profile of Mood States Total Mood Disturbance Scale (POMS-TMDS), the Medical Outcomes Social Support Survey (MOS-SSS), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale screener, a performance Status Rating Scale (PSR), and an interview questionnaire. The recovery trajectory in this patient population showed three distinct trends. The trajectory for distress was linear and improved over time with approximately 20% of patients continuing to have psychological distress at 1 year. Secondly, the trend for overall quality of life was parabolic, worsening at discharge, then improving at 100 days and at 1 year. However, there were individual areas of deficit at follow-up, eg fatigue, even while overall quality of life mean scores improved. Thirdly, the trend for patient concerns over time was linear and worsening. These recovery trajectories suggest psychosocial interventions before and after BMT that may prepare patients for increasing and worsening concerns even as physical well-being improves.

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