Transplant center practices for psychosocial assessment and management of pediatric hematopoietic stem cell donors.


Departments of Medicine, Psychiatry, Clinical and Translational Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. [Email]


Understanding the potential emotional and psychological risks of pediatric sibling HSC donation is an area of research that remains in its infancy. A cross-sectional survey was distributed electronically to directors at all CIBMTR and EBMT centers to describe current transplant center practices for obtaining assent, preparation for the physical/emotional experiences of donation, and monitoring the post-donation well-being of pediatric donors (<18 years of age). Respondents were 45/91 (49%) and 66/144 (46%) of CIBMTR and EBMT centers, respectively. Although 78% of centers reported having a mechanism in place to ensure donor free assent, centers also reported only limited assessment of psychosocial suitability to manage the emotional risks of donation. More than half of centers reported no psychosocial follow-up assessment post-donation. Few centers have policies in place to address donor psychological needs. Future investigations should include medical and psychosocial outcomes following full integration of comprehensive psychosocial screening and surveillance of pediatric donors.