A Qualitative Study of the Everyday Impacts of Cognitive Difficulties After Stem Cell Transplantation

Samantha J. Mayo

Isabel Wozniczka

Beth Edwards

Sean B. Rourke

Doris Howell

Kelly A. Metcalfe

Arta Taghavi Haghayegh

Jeffrey H. Lipton

stem cell transplantation, qualitative research, cancer-related cognitive impairment
ONF 2022, 49(4), 315-325. DOI: 10.1188/22.ONF.315-325

Purpose: To explore how cognitive difficulties affect the everyday lives of survivors of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT).

Participants & Setting: 20 survivors of allo-HSCT attending follow-up care at a tertiary cancer center in Toronto, Canada.

Methodologic Approach: This qualitative, descriptive study used semistructured interviews.

Findings: Cognitive symptoms affected the everyday lives of allo-HSCT survivors by changing the experience of everyday tasks, provoking emotional responses, and prompting adoption of mitigation strategies. Subthemes within each of these themes highlight the ways in which cognitive impairment shapes how allo-HSCT survivors feel about themselves, interact with others, and navigate coping challenges.

Implications for Nursing: These findings demonstrate the multidimensional experience of cognitive difficulties following allo-HSCT and may inform the development of patient-centered approaches to assessing and managing cognitive difficulties.

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