Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation activities and HRQOL of refugee or asylum seeker children in Turkiye: A multicenter study

Gokcebay D. G., KÜPELİ S., Gursel O., Bilir O. A., AKYAY A., PEKPAK E., ...More

PEDIATRIC TRANSPLANTATION, vol.26, no.8, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/petr.14397
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, quality of life, refugee children, QUALITY-OF-LIFE, PEDIATRIC-PATIENTS, MARROW, RELIABILITY, PEDSQL(TM), RECIPIENTS, IMPACT, GRAFT
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


Background Refugee or asylum seekers (RAS) children are at increased risk of physical, developmental, and behavioral health issues. The aim of this study was to evaluate clinical and psychosocial outcomes of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in RAS children and compare health-related quality of life (HRQOL) to those of Turkish peers. Methods This retrospective study included patients who underwent HSCT aged 0-18 years and completed 100-day post-transplant. The PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scale was used in children over 5 years old to compare HRQOL. Results A total of 166 RAS patients (M/F: 106 /60) underwent 174 HSCTs (six patients had two, and one had three HSCT) compared to 66 Turkish patients. The mean age of the patients in the RAS group was 7.8 +/- 4.9 years and similar to controls. A total of 124 patients (75%) were from Syria, and 49 (25%) were from other countries in the Middle East and Africa. The cause of migration was war in 121 (74%) RAS patients. Complications of HSCT were no different between the groups. However, the rate of neutropenic sepsis was significantly higher in the RAS group (p = 0.004). The total scores of HRQOL were not different between RAS and controls. In the RAS group, ratings of social functioning were lower in patients with consanguinity or non-malignant disease or who had match-related donors. Discussion Identifying areas of difficulty in subscales of HRQOL may help physicians to classify patients who need additional supportive care. Regular monitoring and supporting physical needs may result in better functional outcomes after HSCT.