Quality of life of adult long-term survivors of bone marrow transplantation: a qualitative analysis of narrative data.
Recently, clinicians and researchers alike have challenged the long-standing impression that survivors of bone marrow transplantation (BMT) experience a less than optimal quality of life (QOL). Despite the accumulating evidence suggesting that most adult survivors adjust relatively well within two to five years after BMT, little is known about the growing population of recipients living well beyond five years. This paper reports the design and qualitative components of a large study that used a cross-sectional, descriptive, mailed survey design. The aim of the study was to document systematically how 125 adult survivors of BMT (6-18.4 years post-transplant) perceived the quality of their lives. An eight-item, open-ended questionnaire was used to gather information on the reestablishment of life after BMT, demands of recovery, coping strategies, limitations imposed by BMT, current health problems, QOL, and concerns for the future. Content analysis of the verbatim responses indicated that most long-term survivors, despite the persistence of lingering side effects, perceive themselves as cured and well, leading full and meaningful lives. Nursing therapeutics can focus on providing accurate and timely information about the known long-range complications of BMT. Further research is needed to examine the entire issue of social support following BMT and to identify the special care requirements of the recipients (5%) who reported poor physical and mental health.
Haberman, M; Bush, N; Young, K; Sullivan, KM
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