Hematopoietic cell transplant nurse coordinators' perceptions of related donor care: a European survey from the EBMT Nurses Group

Bone Marrow Transplant. 2020 Mar;55(3):623-632. doi: 10.1038/s41409-019-0686-y. Epub 2019 Oct 2.


Allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a curative procedure for patients with haematological malignancies and immune deficiencies. A human leukocyte antigen (HLA) identical sibling is only available for 25-35% of patients in need. The improvement in haplo-identical transplantation has led to a marked increase in cell donation from relatives. Despite international recommendations, discrepancies in related-donors (RD) care exist between centres, particularly regarding medical suitability criteria, consenting procedures and donor follow-up. This European survey aimed to explore hematopoietic cell transplantation coordinators nurses' (HCT-CNs) perceptions of RD care, in particular the association with the presence or not of an independent unit (IU). Ninety-three HCT-CNs from seventy-six EBMT centres responded, representing 19 countries (response rate: 27%). Our results did not show a significant association between IU and HCT-CNs perceptions of related-donors care. The practices for RD care vary among centres regarding presence or not of an IU (48%), person caring for RD (haematologist in 54%, HCT physician in 17%, HCT-CNs in 20%), person to whom the results of HLA typing are communicated, use of a booklet for RD, follow-up or not and periodicity of follow-up. Qualitative data highlight the related-donation ethical issues and the need for improvement in RD care. HCT-CNs' main concerns were: the necessary confidentiality to insure the voluntary status of RD, the perceived conflict of interest felt by professionals when managing both patients and RD, plus the psychosocial aspects of related-donation. Even if there is a variety of a practice among centres, the presence of an IU is not significantly associated with an improvement in RD care.

MeSH terms

  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Histocompatibility Testing
  • Humans
  • Nurses*
  • Perception
  • Tissue Donors