Original Article

Association between Perceived Stress and Neutropenia in Patients with Leukemia under Chemotherapy



Background: The most prominent part of the cellular response of the immune system is driven by neutrophils. These cells tend to decline following chemotherapy in patients with leukemia. Neutropenia is an influential factor in the prognosis of cancer patients. Stress reduces white blood cells (WBC) and neutrophils are linked to an increased risk of infectious diseases after chemotherapy. We investigated the association between neutropenia and perceived stress following chemotherapy.

Materials and Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study on 60 patients with leukemia in a university hospital. Participants completed self-report measures including the demographic data and perceived stress scale (PSS) questionnaire.

We compared rates of neutropenia, as a measure of chemotherapy prognosis, 10 days after chemotherapy in different stress levels. Moreover, the number of patients with polymorphonuclear (PMN) under 1000/microl was compared at different stress levels.   

Results: We found that neutropenia is directly correlated with negative stress perception and inversely correlated with positive stress perception. These effects appear more prominent in patients with PMN under 1000/microl as the number of these patients was significantly more in groups with higher negative stress and less in groups with higher positive stress scores.

Conclusion: It can be concluded that stress is correlated with neutropenia and stress management in patients with leukemia will be accompanied by better recovery outcomes and reduced risk of infectious disease.


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IssueVol 16, No 2 (2022) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijhoscr.v16i2.9203
Neutropenia; Chemotherapy; Stress perception

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How to Cite
Esfandbod M, Tehrani M, Haghshomar M, Arya P, Shateri Amiri B, Toogeh G, Keyhani M. Association between Perceived Stress and Neutropenia in Patients with Leukemia under Chemotherapy. Int J Hematol Oncol Stem Cell Res. 2022;16(2):103-109.