Spirituality and the recovery of quality of life following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Laura A. Leeson, Ashley M. Nelson, Paul J. Rathouz, Mark B. Juckett, Christopher L. Coe, Elizabeth W. Caes, Erin S. Costanzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: Spirituality has been linked to improved adjustment and functioning in individuals with cancer; however, its effect on quality of life following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has not been well-studied. This study investigated changes in spirituality in hematologic cancer patients recovering from HSCT and relationships between spirituality and dimensions of quality of life following HSCT. Methods: Participants (N = 220) completed measures of two dimensions of spirituality (meaning/ peace and religious faith), depression, anxiety, fatigue, pain, and physical and functional well-being prior to transplant and at 1-, 3-, 6-, and 12-months posttransplant. Results: Meaning/peace declined at 1-month posttransplant and returned to pretransplant levels by 6-months posttransplant, and faith increased from pretransplant to 6-months posttransplant. Mixed-effects linear regression models indicated that greater pretransplant meaning/peace, but not religious faith, predicted less depression, anxiety, and fatigue, and better physical and functional well-being during the 12-months following transplant. Conclusions: The capacity to find meaning and peace may facilitate recovery following HSCT. Results suggest that spirituality may be a resilience factor that could be targeted to improve quality of life for HSCT recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)920-928
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 American Psychological Association.


  • Cancer
  • Quality of life
  • Spirituality
  • Stem cell transplantation


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