Three sides to a story: Child, parent, and nurse perspectives on the child's experience during hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cancer (2017)


BACKGROUND: The experience of children undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), including the ways in which different participants (ie, children, parents, and nurses) contribute to the overall picture of a child's experience, is poorly characterized. This study evaluated parent, child, and nurse perspectives on the experience of children during HSCT and factors contributing to interrater differences.

METHODS: Participants were enrolled in a multicenter, prospective study evaluating child and parent health-related quality of life over the year after HSCT. Children (n = 165) and their parents and nurses completed the Behavioral, Affective, and Somatic Experiences Scale (BASES) at baseline (before/during conditioning), 7 days after the stem cell infusion (day+7), and 21 days after the stem cell infusion (day+21). The BASES domains included Somatic Distress, Mood Disturbance, Cooperation, and Getting Along. Higher scores indicated more distress/impairment. Repeated measures models by domain assessed differences by raters and changes over time and identified other factors associated with raters' scores.

RESULTS: Completion rates were high (≥73% across times and raters). Multivariate models revealed significant time-rater interactions, which varied by domain. For example, parent-rated Somatic Distress scores increased from baseline to day+7 and remained elevated at day+21 (P < .001); children's scores were lower than parents' scores across time points. Nurses' baseline scores were lower than parents' baseline scores, although by day+21 they were similar. Older child age was associated with higher Somatic Distress and Mood Disturbance scores. Worse parent emotional functioning was associated with lower scores across raters and domains except for Cooperation.

CONCLUSIONS: Multirater assessments are highly feasible during HSCT. Ratings differ by several factors; considering ratings in light of such factors may deepen our understanding of the child's experience. Cancer 2017. © 2017 American Cancer Society.