Hematopoietic stem cell donation: Psychological perspectives of pediatric sibling donors and their parents

D. Hutt, M. Nehari, D. Munitz-Shenkar, Y. Alkalay, A. Toren, B. Bielorai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) is widely used for treatment of various life-threatening pediatric diseases. It is an intensive process that psychologically affects the whole family. Pediatric donors represent a very unique, underreported, group. The aim of this study is to investigate the sibling donors' and their parents' perspective on the donation process. The cohort included 36 sibling donors and 50 parents of pediatric patients who underwent allogeneic SCT between 1995 and 2010 and were alive at the time of the study. Mean age at donation was 14.78±8.350 years in donors' group and 8.22±4.639 years in parents' group. Data were collected by anonymous questionnaires. Three psychological dimensions were analyzed: donors' personal perspective; donor-recipient interpersonal relationship and the influence of the donation on the family unit. Results showed that the donors experienced a wide range of complex emotional responses, positive and negative, whereas the parents' responses were mainly positive and less complex. This study presents both the sibling donor's and parents' perspective, giving a more complete picture of the donation process within the family. The effects of this intense experience of SCT has a long-term impact on the whole family, indicating the need for follow-up and psychosocial support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1337-1342
Number of pages6
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation


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