Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in adult survivors of bone marrow transplants

by Ansari, Laila, Ph.D., PACIFIC GRADUATE SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY, 2007, 96 pages; 3316402


Diagnosis with a life threatening illness, such as cancer, was recognized in DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 1994) as a traumatic stressor that could precipitate Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Prevalence estimates of cancer-related PTSD range from 3% to 4% in recently diagnosed early stage patients to 35% in patients evaluated after treatment (Gurevich, Devins & Rodin, 2002; Kangas, Henry, & Bryant, 2002). Prevalence of PTSD-like symptoms (e.g., intrusive ideation, avoidance) ranges from 20% in patients with early stage cancer to 80% in patients with recurrent cancer (Gurevich, Devins & Rodin, 2002). There is some evidence that patients that have more advanced disease and that undergo more aggressive treatment may be at greater risk for such stress response symptoms (Andrykowski & Cordova, 1998; Gurevich et al., 2002). Bone marrow transplantation (BMT), although potentially lifesaving, is considerably more invasive than traditional therapies, and survivors can experience significant psychological effects (Andrykowski, Brady & Greiner, 1995; Andrykowski, Greiner, Altmaier & Burnish, 1995; Andrykowski & McQuellon, 1998; Broers & Kaptein, 2000; Baker, et al., 1991; Hengeveld, et al., 1998; Syrjala et al., 1993; Lesko et al., 1992; Jacobsen et al., 1998; Mundy et al., 2000; Jacobsen, Sadler, Booth-Jones, Soety, Weitzner, & Fields 2002; Widows, Jacobsen & Fields, 2000). However, there have been relatively few investigations of PTSD in BMT survivors (Jacobsen et al., 1998; Jacobsen et al., 2002; DuHamel et al., 2001; Mundy et al., 2000; Smith, et al., 1999), and questions remain regarding prevalence, predictors, and quality of life correlates of PTSD following BMT. Given the increasing use of BMT as a conventional cancer therapy, the increased risk for emotional distress in BMT survivors, and the limitations of the existing literature, further investigation in this area is warranted.

AdviserMatthew Cordova
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsMental health; Clinical psychology; Oncology
Publication Number3316402

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