The aim of this prospective study was to describe health-related quality of life (HRQOL)
in patients during the first year after stem cell transplantation (SCT) who were undergoing
reduced intensive conditioning (RIC) compared with patients undergoing myeloablative
conditioning (MAC). Fifty-seven patients (25 for MAC and 32 for RIC) were enrolled
in the study. HRQOL was assessed at 6 occasions during the first year after SCT using
European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire
and the 19-item treatment-specific module High-Dose Chemotherapy. Both groups reported
most symptoms and worst functioning 1 month after SCT, but there were substantial
differences. The MAC group deteriorated considerably in 20 symptom scales compared
with 8 in the RIC group (score differences <10; P values ranged from .001 to .05).
Dry mouth, sore mouth, appetite loss, and change of taste were among the most frequent
symptoms in both groups. Thereafter, the functioning improved and the symptom scores
decreased and returned to baseline in both groups, except dry mouth, which remained
a worse problem for the MAC group. Overall, the RIC group regained health and QOL
faster than the MAC group did. However, there were no significant differences in global
QOL between the groups 1 year after SCT.