Reduced-intensity conditioning allogeneic HSCT (RIC) has less regimen-related morbidity and mortality than myeloablative allogeneic HSCT (MT) offering allogeneic transplantation to patients otherwise excluded. Whether these advantages improve health-related quality of life (HRQL) is unknown. We examined the HRQL effects of RIC and MT in patients with hematological diseases pre-transplant (baseline), days 0, 30, 100, 1 and 2 years following HSCT. HRQL was measured using the Short Form-36 Health Survey and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - General and BMT. Data were analyzed using mixed linear modeling adjusting for baseline HRQL differences. Patients (RIC=41, MT=35) were predominately male (67%), in remission/stable disease (65%) with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group status <or=1 (97%). HRQL progressively improved (P<0.01) in both groups with higher scores at day 100 compared to days 0 and 30; there was no difference between groups during early recovery. At 2 years, all survivors (n=43) reported HRQL similar or better than baseline. Results suggest RIC and MT patients experience a similar pattern of HRQL improvement during early recovery. Two-year survivors report a return to baseline or better in HRQL by day 100, with the exception of physical health in MT patients.