Screening supportive care needs, compliance with exercise program, quality of life, and anxiety level during the COVID-19 pandemic in individuals treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Support Care Cancer. 2021 Jul;29(7):4065-4073. doi: 10.1007/s00520-020-05965-1. Epub 2021 Jan 6.


Purpose: The primary aim was to assess supportive care needs, compliance with home exercise program, quality of life level (QOL), and anxiety level during the COVID-19 pandemic in individuals treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The secondary aim was to investigate demographic and medical factors associated with the recorded outcomes.

Methods: The present study included individuals treated with HSCT and previously referred to physical therapy. The data were collected by interviews with the participants on the phone. Supportive care needs were assessed using the Supportive Care Needs Survey-Short Form 29TR. Compliance with the exercise program was recorded as the number of patients regularly performed strengthening and stretching exercises and the ratio of the walking duration to the recommended duration. The European Cancer Research and Treatment Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire-Cancer30 was used to assess the QOL. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-I and the Visual Analogue Scale were used to assess anxiety level.

Results: The present study included 101 individuals treated with HSCT. The psychological and physical supportive care needs were predominant in participants. Compliance with exercise program was low. General anxiety level was low, yet anxiety about COVID-19 was moderate level in participants. Supportive care needs were related to female gender, performance level, time since HSCT, and QOL level (p ˂ 0.05). Anxiety level was correlated with supportive care needs, COVID-19-related anxiety, and QOL (p ˂ 0.05). Compliance with exercise program was associated with age, performance level, and QOL (p ˂ 0.05).

Conclusion: Our results offer that supportive telehealth interventions should be considered during the COVID-19 pandemic for individuals treated with HSCT to decrease unmet supportive care needs and isolation-related physical inactivity.

Keywords: COVID-19; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Quality of life; Supportive care.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Exercise Therapy / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand* / statistics & numerical data
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Palliative Care* / psychology
  • Pandemics
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine / methods
  • Turkey / epidemiology
  • Young Adult