Return to Work Among Young Adult Survivors of Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in the United States

Neel S. Bhatt, Ruta Brazauskas, Rachel B. Salit, Karen Syrjala, Stephanie Bo-Subait, Heather Tecca, Sherif M. Badawy, K. Scott Baker, Amer Beitinjaneh, Nelli Bejanyan, Michael Byrne, Ajoy Dias, Nosha Farhadfar, César O. Freytes, Siddhartha Ganguly, Shahrukh Hashmi, Robert J. Hayashi, Sanghee Hong, Yoshihiro Inamoto, Kareem JamaniKimberly A. Kasow, Nandita Khera, Maxwell M. Krem, Hillard M. Lazarus, Catherine J. Lee, Stephanie Lee, Navneet S. Majhail, Adriana K. Malone, David I. Marks, Lih Wen Mau, Samantha J. Mayo, Lori S. Muffly, Sunita Nathan, Taiga Nishihori, Kristin M. Page, Jaime Preussler, Hemalatha G. Rangarajan, Seth J. Rotz, Nina Salooja, Bipin N. Savani, Raquel Schears, Tal Schechter-Finkelstein, Gary Schiller, Ami J. Shah, Akshay Sharma, Trent Wang, Baldeep Wirk, Minoo Battiwalla, Hélène Schoemans, Betty Hamilton, David Buchbinder, Rachel Phelan, Bronwen Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679.e1-679.e8
JournalTransplantation and Cellular Therapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Hematopoietic cell transplantation
  • Quality of life
  • Return to work
  • Young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation


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