Factors associated with long-term functional and psychosocial outcomes in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma


  • Bhasker Amatya Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; Department of Medicine (Royal Melbourne Hospital), University of Melbourne; Australian Rehabilitation Research Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria; Department of Clinical Haematology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4793-1104
  • Michael Dickinson Department of Medicine (Royal Melbourne Hospital), University of Melbourne; Department of Clinical Haematology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria; The Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  • Fary Khan Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; Department of Medicine (Royal Melbourne Hospital), University of Melbourne; Australian Rehabilitation Research Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria; Department of Clinical Haematology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria




Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, rehabilitation, impairment, function, quality of life


Objective: To assess the long-term functional, psychosocial and participation outcomes in an Australian cohort of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) survivors.
Methods: A cross-sectional sample of adult NHL survivors at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (between 2015 and 2020), participated by completing validated questionnaires. A series of analyses described their current level of function, psychosocial well-being, and participation.
Results: Of 129 participants (mean (M) ± standard deviation (SD) age: 62.5 ± 8.8 years), the majority (58%) had aggressive NHL and grade III–IV (72%), with time since diagnosis of 4.6 ± 1.2 years. Participants reported ongoing issues after completion of treatment: fatigue (63%), bladder dysfunction (61%), cognitive impairment (53%), and NHL-related pain (46%). Most made good functional recovery (M ± SD) (Functional Independent Measure-Motor: 79.5 ± 8.2), reported minimal change in their negative emotional states, and NHL-specific quality of life (QoL) (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Lymphoma: 133.5 ± 22.1). Participants were “well” adjusted to community living (Community Integration Measure: 42.2 ± 7.4) and satisfied with their current life (Satisfaction with Life Scale: 26.3 ± 6.0). Factors significantly associated with the poorer current level of function were: age at diagnosis < 60 years, time since NHL diagnosis > 4.5 years, and aggressive NHL type.
Conclusion: Despite good functional recovery and adjustment in the community, NHL survivors report the presence of ongoing residual impairments and cognitive issues, which requires long-term rehabilitation-inclusive management.

This cross-sectional study evaluated functional and psychosocial outcomes in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) survivors. Most patients made a good functional recovery and reported minimal change in their negative emotional states and quality of life after they were discharged. Patients reported satisfaction with their current life and were “well” adjusted to community living after NHL treatment. However, many reported ongoing issues, specifically fatigue, bladder dysfunction, cognitive impairment, and NHL-related pain. Those below 60 years of age when diagnosed, with time since NHL of over 4.5 years, and with aggressive and advanced NHL grades were associated with a poorer current level of function. These findings suggest that, despite patients’ potential adjustment to disability over time (response-shift phenomenon), many patients with NHL need long-term rehabilitation-inclusive management of ongoing disability and psychosocial issues in the community post-discharge.


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How to Cite

Amatya, B., Dickinson , M., & Khan, F. (2023). Factors associated with long-term functional and psychosocial outcomes in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 55, jrm004816. https://doi.org/10.2340/jrm.v55.4816



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