Resilience, health, and quality of life among long-term survivors of hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cancer, Volume 121, Issue 23, p.4250-4257 (2015)


BACKGROUND: Low patient-reported resilience is associated with an ongoing risk of poor health and psychosocial outcomes. Using a large cross-sectional sample of survivors of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), this study explored associations between patient-reported resilience, psychological distress, posttraumatic growth, and health-related quality of life.

METHODS: Between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, the annual Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) posttransplant survivorship survey queried patient-reported health and functional status and included instruments assessing psychosocial outcomes: the 10-item Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory, the Cancer and Treatment Distress measure, and the 12-item Medical Outcomes Study Short Form quality-of-life scale. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models included demographic and health covariates extracted from the FHCRC research database.

RESULTS: Among 4643 adult survivors of HCT, 1823 (39%) responded after a single mailing and subsequent reminder letter. The participants' median age was 59 years (interquartile range [IQR], 50-66 years); 52.5% were male, and most were non-Hispanic white. The median time since HCT was 9 years (IQR, 3-18 years). Lower patient-reported resilience was associated with chronic graft-versus-host disease of higher severity, lower performance scores, missing work because of health, and permanent disability (all P<.0001). After adjustments for demographic and health characteristics, patients reporting low resilience scores had higher odds of having psychological distress (odds ratio [OR], 3.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.1-4.3) and being in the lowest quartile for mental health-related quality of life (OR, 5.9; 95% CI, 4.4-8.0).

CONCLUSIONS: Patient-reported resilience is independently associated with health and psychosocial outcomes. Future studies must determine whether interventions can bolster resilience and improve survivorship outcomes.