Where the Money Goes

You are here

Symptom Patterns during Pediatric Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recovery

Duke University Medical Center
Cheryl Rodgers, RN, PhD
Grant Type: 
Nurse Researcher Grants
Year Awarded: 
Type of Childhood Cancer: 
General Pediatric Cancer
Project Description: 

Co-Investigator:  Marika Horn, MSN, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital 


Adolescents undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) experience frequent and distressing symptoms, such as nausea, pain, fatigue, anorexia, and insomnia. These symptoms persist but fluctuate during the first 100 days post HSCT, known as the acute recovery phase. There is limited information about symptom variations during acute HSCT recovery. Understanding these changes will enable healthcare providers to better recognize and treat their patients' symptoms. Personal characteristics such as coping and hope and social characteristics such as communication and support are effective in helping patients deal with cancer treatment but have not been evaluated in relation to symptoms.

Project Goal

This study will explore symptoms, coping, hope, communication, and social support among 60 adolescent patients during their acute HSCT recovery period. Symptoms will be evaluated by their frequency, severity, and distress and reported as trajectories (changes over time) and trajectory patterns (reoccurring trajectories). Personal and social characteristic will be described throughout the acute HSCT recovery phase and examined in relation to symptom trajectories. Results of this study will allow healthcare providers to easily recognize and even anticipate their patients' symptoms during acute HSCT recovery. This in turn can enable meaningful discussions between healthcare providers and patients, and allow for early initiation of symptom management interventions. Knowledge of personal and social characteristics in relation to symptom trajectories will enable specific symptom management interventions to be developed, tested, and used among adolescent HSCT patients.

"Children can experience multiple distressing symptoms during their stem cell transplant recovery.  This study funded by Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation will provide an opportunity for children to share their experiences in order to identify symptom patterns and factors influencing symptoms.  This new knowledge will allow for recognition of more effective strategies to relieve children’s symptoms."  -Cheryl Rodgers