Associations between benefit finding and quality of life after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation


  • L. Gudenkauf
  • S. Ehlers
  • P. Christi
  • T. Brockman
  • J. Cerhan
  • D. Gastineau


Background: Cancer survivors’ ability to find benefits in their cancer experience is an increasing focus of empirical investigation. This study sought to understand benefit finding (BF) among hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) patients and determine the relationship between BF and quality of life (QOL). Methods: 669 adults completed a survey of BF (Benefit Finding Scale-17 item) and QOL (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT-BMT)) one year after HSCT. Correlation analyses tested BF and QOL associations, controlling for empirically-derived covariates. Participants were 18 – 78 years old (M = 55.21), 60.4% male, 80.1% married, 69.7% Caucasian. Most received autologous HSCT (79.9%). Findings: BF was associated with better overall QOL (r = 0.120, p = .002), social/family well-being (r = 0.237, p < .001), emotional well-being (r = 0.100, p = .010), functional well-being (r = 0.157, p < .001), and fewer BMT-specific concerns (r = 0.086, p = .026) but not with physical well-being, fatigue, or pain. Controlling for gender, significant associations remained. Controlling for remission status, BF was no longer associated with BMT-specific concerns and marginally associated with emotional well-being. Discussion: Survivors who find more benefits one year after HSCT report better social, emotional, functional, and overall QOL. Given cross-sectional analyses, it is possible experiencing better QOL allows for BF, or those who find more benefits perceive better QOL. BF was not related to physical well-being, fatigue, and pain in this sample. Future work should determine direction of causation of this relationship and investigate whether promoting BF could enhance QOL.





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