Holding back moderates the association between health symptoms and social well-being in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
CONTEXT: Holding back, or withholding discussion of disease-related thoughts and emotions, is associated with negative outcomes including lower quality of life, diminished well-being, and relational distress. For patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), the degree to which one holds back from discussing illness-related concerns may be an important determinant of social well-being and health; however, this has not been systematically assessed in this population. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the present study was to assess the moderating effects of holding back discussion of disease-related concerns on the relationship between health-related symptoms and social well-being in adult patients undergoing HSCT. METHODS: Seventy autologous (n = 55) and allogeneic (n = 15) HSCT patients completed measures of holding back, social well-being, and health symptoms (i.e., pain, fatigue, sleep problems, cognitive problems) both before and after transplantation (i.e., three months after transplantation and six months after transplantation). RESULTS: In patients with average to high levels of holding back, health symptoms were significantly related to lower levels of social well-being; however, for patients with low levels of holding back, the relationship between health symptoms and social well-being was not significant. CONCLUSION: The results of the present study suggest that the level of holding back may be important in understanding how health-related symptoms relate to social well-being in patients undergoing HSCT. These findings underscore the importance of addressing how patients undergoing HSCT communicate about their disease with others as this may be related to their adjustment to illness and treatment.
Bartley, EJ; Edmond, SN; Wren, AA; Somers, TJ; Teo, I; Zhou, S; Rowe, KA; Abernethy, AP; Keefe, FJ; Shelby, RA
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