Assessing Quality of Life in Patients With Ocular GVHD

By Patrick Daly - Last Updated: September 15, 2022

According to a recent study, patients who developed ocular graft-versus-host disease (oGVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) had significantly worse vision- and cancer-specific quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes—and impaired cognitive function—compared with patients without oGVHD. The findings were published in Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology.

This cross-sectional study followed 142 patients who received alloHCT. Of those patients, 94 were diagnosed with oGVHD per International Chronic Ocular GVHD Consensus Group (ICOGCG) criteria. The 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25) and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) tools were used to assess QOL outcomes.

According to the report, patients with oGVHD had a mean NEI VFQ-25 score of 64.3 ± 20.3, while patients without oGVHD had a mean score of 77.6 ± 19.3 (P<.001). Likewise, patients with oGVHD had a lower mean EORTC QLQ-C30 score of 59.9 ± 20.3 compared with a mean score of 67.4 ± 17.5 in patients without (P=.03).

The authors wrote that cancer-specific QOL was “strikingly” correlated with post-alloHCT medical expense (β=-9.91; 95% CI, -14.43 to -5.39; P<.001), frequency of ophthalmic medication use (β=-0.93; 95% CI, -1.64 to -0.21; P=.01), education (β=-6.97; 95% CI, -13.31 to -0.62; P=.03), and peripheral blood stem cell use (β=-6.42; 95% CI, -12.59 to -0.25; P=.04). Furthermore, vision-specific QOL measures were correlated with both ICOGCG score (β=-1.88; 95% CI, -3.35 to -0.41; P=.01) and post-alloHCT medical expense (β=-5.70; 95% CI, -10.35 to -1.05; P=.02).

Ultimately, the authors suggested that “multidimensional QOL assessment should be included in the long-term alloHCT survivorship care” to help address these impairments.

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