Hospitalization following hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) can lead to significant psychologic distress for patients.

Researchers assessed the impact of an inpatient palliative care intervention on patient reported quality-of-life (QOL), mood, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) six months post-HCT. The researchers presented the study at the ASCO Annual Meeting.

Patients with hematologic malignancies who were admitted for autologous and allogeneic HCT were randomized to an inpatient palliative care intervention along with transplant care (n = 81) or  transplant care alone (n = 79). At baseline and six months post-HCT, QOL, mood, and PTSD symptoms were assessed using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Bone Marrow Transplant (FACT-BMT), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Patient Health Questionnaire, and the PTSD checklist. Symptom burden was assessed using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale.

From August 2014–January 2016, 160 patients were enrolled from a cohort of 186 potentially eligible patients (86%). At six months post-HCT, the palliative care intervention improved depression and PTSD symptoms, but did not improve QOL or anxiety (see Table 1 for all outcomes).

“Addressing symptom burden during HCT hospitalization partially accounts for the effect of the intervention on these long-term outcomes,” the authors concluded.

Psycho Distress Table