Factors associated with the health-related quality of life in pediatric stem cell transplant patients

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Clinical Psychology


Department of Psychology


Advisor: Keri J. Brown Kirschman


Stem Cell Transplants (SCT) are becoming a widely used procedure for many pediatric illnesses such as different types of cancer and immune disorders. SCT is an invasive and stressful procedure in which the child is injected with healthy stem cells. This study aims to examine the child health-related quality of life (HRQOL) post-transplant in relation to family communication. Family relationships, as they relate to the child's quality of life have been understudied in this vulnerable population. Age of the child and socio- economic status were also examined in the relationship. In the current study, as part of a larger study on transplantation and home medication adherence, 58 caregivers answered questionnaires regarding their children's HRQOL and family communication soon after the transplant. It was hypothesized that family communication would predict quality of life post-transplant and that age and socio-economic status would act as moderators in this relationship. Analysis indicated that family communication did not significantly predict child HRQOL. Further, child age and SES did not significantly contribute to the relationship between child HRQOL and family communication. Future research may focus on these variables throughout the transplantation process and recovery, as well as include data from both caregivers and children receiving the SCT.


Sick children Family relationships, Sick children Attitudes, Stem cells Transplantation Patients Family relationships, Stem cells Transplantation Patients Attitudes, Quality of life, Clinical Psychology; health- related quality of life; pediatric stem cell transplantation; family communication

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2013, author