Return to Work Among Young Adult Survivors of Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in the United States. Academic Article uri icon


  • Young adult (YA) survivors of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) are at risk for late psychosocial challenges, including the inability to return to work post-HCT. Work-related outcomes in this population remain understudied, however. We conducted this study to assess the post-HCT work status of survivors of allogeneic HCT who underwent HCT as YAs and to analyze the patient-, disease-, and HCT-related factors associated with their work status at 1 year post-HCT. Using Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research data, we evaluated the post-HCT work status (full-time, part-time work, unemployed, or medical disability) of 1365 YA HCT survivors who underwent HCT between 2008 and 2015. Percentages of work status categories were reported at 4 time points: 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years post-HCT. Percentages of post-HCT work status categories at the 1-year time point were also described in relation to survivors' pre-HCT work status categories. Factors associated with 1-year post-HCT work status (full-time or part-time work) were examined using logistic regression. From 6 months to 3 years post-HCT, the percentage of survivors working full-time increased from 18.3% to 50.7% and the percentage working part-time increased from 6.9% to 10.5%. Of patients in full-time work pre-HCT, 50% were unemployed or on medical disability at 1 year post-HCT. Female sex (odds ratio [OR], 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.40 to 0.77), HCT Comorbidity Index score ≥3 (OR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.39 to 0.82), pre-HCT unemployment (OR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.24 to 0.56), medical disability (OR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.28 to 0.70), development of grade III-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.34 to 0.80), and relapse within 1 year post-HCT (OR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.56) were associated with a lower likelihood of employment at 1 year post-HCT. Compared with myeloablative conditioning (MAC) with total body irradiation (TBI), MAC without TBI (OR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.16 to 2.53) was associated with a greater likelihood of employment at 1 year post-HCT. Graduate school-level education (OR, 2.47; 95% CI, 1.49 to 4.10) was also associated with a greater likelihood of employment at 1 year post-HCT. Although the work status among YA HCT survivors continued to improve over time, a substantial subset became or remained unemployed or on medical disability. These findings underscore the need for effective interventions to support return to work in this population.Copyright © 2021 The American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. All rights reserved.


publication date

  • December 2021