Researchers have found that good pre-transplant emotional support predicts longer overall survival at two years. Pre-transplant levels of perceived emotional support and psychological distress were reported by 222 men and 178 women (67% married) in interviews with social caseworkers. Transplant outcomes were obtained from medical records.
Controlling for demographic characteristics and medical confounders, ratings of good emotional support pre-transplant predicted longer overall survival (hazard ratio (HR) 0.61; 95% confidence interval (CI); 0.42-0.91; p=0.013). Emotional support was also associated with lower rates of treatment-related mortality (HR=0.58; CI, 0.32-1.05; p=0.073). However, pre-transplant psychological distress was unrelated to survival.
The researchers note that better pre-transplant emotional support might be associated with improved survival because patients with helpful caregivers are better able to adhere to rigorous post-transplant regimens (e.g., medications, doctors' appointments, and clean environments).
Ehrlich KB, et al. Bone Marrow Transplant