Risk Factors for Depression in Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation

ArticleinBiology of blood and marrow transplantation: journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation 20(7) · March 2014with17 Reads
Impact Factor: 3.40 · DOI: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.03.010 · Source: PubMed


    Despite the prevalence and known adverse impacts of depression after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), little is known about the trajectory of depression following HCT, or which pre-transplant risk factors might help predict new or worsening depression post-HCT. This secondary analysis was conducted to evaluate the relationships between pre-transplant patient-reported outcomes and demographic characteristics and post-transplant depression. 228 adult HCT patients were evaluated pre-transplant (T1) and 6 to 7 weeks post-transplant (T2), using touch-screen computers in the transplant clinic during participation in a larger trial. Measures included the Symptom Distress Scale, the EORTC QLQ-C30 for quality of life, a single-item Pain Intensity question, and the PHQ-9 for measurement of depression. At T1, rates of depression were quite low with only 6% of participants endorsing moderate or higher depression. At T2, however, 31% had moderate or higher depression. We observed a strong linear relation in PHQ-9 scores between T1 and T2 (p<.0001). T1 depression score was a significant predictor of depression scores at T2 (p=.03), as was poorer emotional function at T1 (p<.01). Results indicate that depression is common post-HCT, even for patients with low depression pre-transplant. Frequent screening for depressive symptoms at critical time points, including 6-7 weeks post-HCT, are needed in this population, followed by referrals to supportive care as appropriate.