Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Recipients Are Resilient

Children undergoing stem cell transplant have positive adjustment, health-related quality of life

MONDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatric patients undergoing stem cell transplantation (SCT) have a positive overall adjustment and health-related quality of life (HRQL), according to a study published online Feb. 6 in Pediatrics.

Sean Phipps, Ph.D., of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and colleagues studied 171 pediatric patients undergoing SCT and their parents who were randomized to receive a child-targeted intervention, a child and parent intervention, or standard care. The child intervention was made up of massage and humor therapy, while the parent intervention included massage and relaxation/imagery. Symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress, HRQL, and benefit finding were measured. Patient and parents were assessed at admission and 24 weeks after SCT.

The researchers found that significant improvements were seen on all outcomes from admission through follow-up. Patients who had SCT reported low levels of adjustment difficulties at admission, and by the end of follow-up they had improved to normal or better than average levels of adjustment and HRQL. Benefit finding was high at admission and also increased at follow-up. No statistically significant differences were seen for any of the measures between the intervention arms.

"Although the results do not support the benefits of these complementary interventions in pediatric SCT, this may be explained by the remarkably positive overall adjustment seen in this sample," the authors write.

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