Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

A mixed methods analysis of perceived cognitive impairment in hematopoietic stem cell transplant survivors

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Lisa M Wu, Department of Medical Social Sciences,Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine,Chicago,Illinois,United States., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • ,
  • Nadia Kuprian, Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, Adelphi University,Garden City,New York,United States.
  • ,
  • Krista Herbert, Department of Psychology,Rowan University,Glassboro,New Jersey,United States.
  • ,
  • Ali Amidi
  • Jane Austin, Department of Psychology,William Paterson University,Wayne,New Jersey,United States.
  • ,
  • Heiddis Valdimarsdottir, Department of Population Health Science and Policy,Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai,New York,New York,United States., Reykjavik University
  • ,
  • Christine Rini, John Theurer Cancer Center,Hackensack University Medical Center,Hackensack,New Jersey, United States.

OBJECTIVE: Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) survivors may show evidence of objective cognitive impairment; however, perceived cognitive problems and their impact on quality of life are less well-understood. The purpose of this study was to explore HSCT survivors' perceptions of cognitive impairment and its effect on daily life functioning.

METHOD: Sixty-nine autologous and allogeneic HSCT survivors nine months to three years posttransplant experiencing mild survivorship problems completed a brief structured interview regarding perceived cognitive impairment since transplant. Data were coded and content analyzed. The frequency of participants reporting cognitive problems by domain and associations between reports of cognitive problems and age, depressed mood, anxiety, and health-related quality of life were examined.ResultOverall, 49 of the 69 participants (71%) reported cognitive impairments after transplant: 38 in memory (55%), 29 in attention and concentration (42%), and smaller numbers in other domains. There were no significant differences in problems reported by transplant type. Of the 50 participants who worked before transplant, 19 (38%) did not return to work following transplant, with 12 citing cognitive and health problems as being the reason. There were significant associations between reports of cognitive impairment and younger age (p = 0.02), depressed mood (p = 0.02), anxiety (p = 0.002), and health-related quality of life (p = 0.008).Significance of resultsA large proportion of survivors reported cognitive impairment following HSCT that impaired daily life functioning. Perceived cognitive impairment was associated with younger age, greater distress and reduced health-related quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPalliative & Supportive Care
Pages (from-to)396-402
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Cancer survivors, cancer-related cognitive impairment, cognitive dysfunction, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, qualitative research, quality of life

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