Patients living with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) have significantly worse health-related quality of life (HRQoL) than that of the general population, especially in regards to fatigue, dyspnea, and social functioning. However, there is limited data about the effects of MDS on mental health, and on patients’ social and emotional wellbeing. Furthermore, while caregivers are an integral part of patient care, little is known about how caring for patients with MDS impacts the wellbeing and health of caregivers themselves.
MDS has a significant impact on the mental health of patients and their caregivers, and patients with high-risk disease, functional impairment, or transfusion dependence are at elevated risk for anxiety and depression. The mental health of caregivers also suffers in a manner similar to, and sometimes worse than, patients themselves, suggesting that caregivers could benefit from intervention and outreach from health care professionals as well. Further investigation is needed to identify the helpfulness of specific tools and interventions that may improve mental health and quality of life in this patient population.