Background: In this prospective multicenter study, we investigated cancer-and-treatment-specific distress (CTXD) and its impact on symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).
Methods: Patients were consulted before (T0, N = 239), 3 (T1, N = 150), and 12 months (T2, N = 102) after HSCT. Medical (eg, diagnosis and pretreatment) and demographic information, CTXD and PTSD (PCL-C) were assessed.
Results: Random intercept models revealed that the sum score of CTXD was highest pre-HSCT (T0), decreased by T1 (γ = -.18, 95% CI [-.26/-.09]), and by T2 (γ = -.10, 95% CI [-.20/-.00]). Uncertainty, family strain, and health burden were rated most distressing during HSCT. Uncertainty and family strain decreased from T0 to T1 (γ = -.30, 95% CI [-.42/-.17]; γ = -.10, 95% CI [-.20/-.00]) and health burden from T1 to T2 (γ = -.21, 95% CI [-.36/.05]). Women were more likely to report uncertainty (γ = .38, 95% CI [.19/.58]), family strain (γ = .38, 95% CI [.19/.58]), and concerns regarding appearance and sexuality (γ = .31, 95% CI [.14/.47]) than men. Uncertainty (γ = .18, 95% CI [.12/.24]), appearance and sexuality (γ = .09, 95% CI [.01/.16]), and health burden (γ = .21, 95% CI [.14/.27]) emerged as predictors of PTSD symptomatology across the 3 assessment points.
Conclusions: Our data provide first evidence regarding the course of 6 dimensions of CTXD during HSCT and their impact on PTSD symptomatology. Specifically, results emphasize the major burden of uncertainty pre-HSCT and the impact of uncertainty and concerns regarding appearance and sexuality on PTSD symptomatology.
Keywords: cancer; cancer-and-treatment-specific distress; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; oncology; posttraumatic stress symptoms.
Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.