Peer support in patients with hematologic malignancies and undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a systematic review

Elizabeth Daskalakis, BA

Brigham and Women’s Hospital,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – Research Assistant
DaskalakisElizabeth poster

Scientific Abstract

Background: Peer support has been utilized and associated with clinical outcomes (e.g., improved mood) in many patients with solid malignancies (i.e., breast cancer). However, to date, there has been little synthesis of the literature examining peer support among patients with hematologic malignancies and/or patients who have undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).

Methods: We completed a systematic review using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines, aimed to assess the relationship between peer support and clinical outcomes (e.g., quality of life, symptom distress, physical symptoms) among patients with hematologic malignancies or those who have undergone HSCT. A systematic search was performed using five databases. Two independent reviewers screened titles and abstracts and independently assessed the full texts of relevant studies, and independently performed data extraction and quality assessments of the included studies. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Quality Assessment tools were used to assess study quality. Data was summarized through narrative analysis.

Results: Of 547 titles identified, eight studies met the inclusion criteria. Five of the studies used qualitative methods, while three studies included quantitative data. The quality assessment revealed an overall “poor to good” methodological quality across the included studies. The three quantitative analysis studies found that peer support was associated with improvements in psychological and/or medical outcomes. Findings from two qualitative studies highlighted that despite a desire for peer support among patients with hematologic malignancies and/or those who have undergone HSCT, very few patients reported being able to engage in peer support.

Conclusion: Among patients with hematologic malignancies and/or those who have undergone HSCT, peer support seems to be associated with better health outcomes. Future studies are needed to better understand the role of peer support and peer support interventions on the lived experiences of patients with hematologic malignancies or those who have undergone HSCT.

research Areas

Authors

Elizabeth Daskalakis, BA, Lauren Harnedy, BA, Sophie Staton, MSW, LCSW, Hermioni Amonoo, MD, MPP

Principal Investigator

Hermioni Amonoo, MD, MPP