Prevalence of and Factors Associated with Marital Distress among Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Survivors: Results from a Large Cross-Sectional Study

Shelby L. Langer, Jean C. Yi, Karen L. Syrjala, Helene Schoemans, Ahona Mukherjee, Stephanie J. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The medical and psychological sequelae of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) are well established, but less is known about the impact on intimate relationships. We sought to describe the prevalence of relationship distress among married HCT survivors and to identify factors associated with relationship distress. The study was cross-sectional. HCT survivors treated at a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center completed a survey that included measures of psychological and relationship distress (Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale [RDAS]), demographic, and medical factors. A total of 1047 respondents reported being married and completed the RDAS. Sample characteristics were a mean age of 58 years (range, 22 to 83 years), a mean interval post-HCT of 12.3 years (range, <1 to 43 years), 42% female, and 89% non-Hispanic white. RDAS total adjustment scores were comparable to published community sample values. Nineteen percent of the respondents were classified as relationship-distressed. Three factors were associated with greater odds of relationship distress: cancer and treatment distress (odds ratio [OR], 1.59; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09 to 2.31); depression (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.17 to 1.76), and time post-transplantation (OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.04). These findings were qualified by sex-stratified analyses. Depression was associated with relationship distress among females; the other 2 variables were associated with relationship distress among males. Our results paint an overall picture of positive long-term marital functioning among HCT survivors, with a subset reporting relationship distress. Screening is warranted to identify survivors at risk for relationship distress and to inform targeted intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333.e1-333.e7
JournalTransplantation and Cellular Therapy
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Distress
  • Dyadic adjustment
  • Hematopoietic cell transplantation
  • Marriage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation

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