Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 109–113 | Cite as

Managing the Mental Distress of the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) Patient: a Focus on Delirium

  • Joseph Bubalo
Stem Cell Transplantation (R Maziarz, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Stem Cell Transplantation


Purpose of Review

To highlight the breadth and types of mental distress experienced by hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) patients and highlight the need for better prevention and management of delirium.

Recent Findings

Recent publications highlight additional risks factors which predict for mental distress during the HSCT process. Despite new medications and additional psychological reports, there is little progress in non-pharmacologic or medication therapy in the prevention and treatment of delirium.


Mental distress, especially delirium, is common during the HSCT process. The morbidity associated with delirium and other mental distress can still be significant at 6–12 months after the completion of the procedure affecting patient functioning and quality of life (QOL). Medication interventions may be helpful but should be used sparingly for targeted patients during HSCT. Additional interventions are needed to prevent and treat delirium in HSCT patients.


Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation Mental distress Delirium 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that he has no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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  2. 2.
    •• El-Jawhri A, Traeger L, Greer JA, et al. Effect of inpatient palliative care during hematopoietic-stem-cell transplant on psychological distress 6 months after transplant: results of a randomized clinical trial. J Clin Oncol. 2017;35:1–8. published online ahead of print. Small trial, but likely practice changing in the use of palliative care support during the peri-transplant period. Despite not reporting on delirium their impact on mental distress is promising. Google Scholar
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    • Teale EA, Siddiqi N, Clegg A, et al. Non-pharmacological interventions for managing delirium in hospitalized patients. Cochrane Rev Protoc. 2017;(4):CD005995, 1–9. Proposed protocol for management of HSCT patient delirium risk. Requires validation but could serve as an interim model. Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pharmacy ServicesOregon Health and Science University Hospital and ClinicsPortlandUSA

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