Adjustment to kidney transplantation: Predictors of perceived health and psychological distress

Torben Schulz

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    550 Downloads (Pure)


    Kidney transplantation is the best treatment for kidney failure, but some patients fare better than others. If we knew why, we might be able to help those who fare less well. Two studies were conducted to investigate the influence of individual characteristics on patient ratings of health and well-being. One included patients up to 15 years after kidney transplantation, the other followed patients from before to one year after transplantation. Patients who lived with a transplanted kidney for many years had more additional conditions and more symptoms because of their kidney disease and medication. Nevertheless, they rated their health equally high than those who lived shorter periods with a transplanted kidney. In some cases, however, patients reported a deterioration of their health after transplantation. While it was not possible to predict this deterioration beforehand, these patients were often women with more additional conditions and complications. Although quality of life after transplantation was often lower than patients had expected, any resulting distress was short-lived. Poor health, however, led to higher distress, because it lowered health ratings and feelings of control, optimism, and self-esteem. Conversely, increased feelings of control and less obstruction of important goals after transplantation resulted in less distress. Regular checks of patients’ health ratings and well-being could identify those who fare less well. Thereafter, enhanced management of symptoms and additional conditions, as well as interventions to improve feelings of control, self-esteem, and the ability to cope with obstructed goals might help to boost patients’ health ratings and well-being.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Ranchor, Adelita, Supervisor
    • Ploeg, Rutger J. , Supervisor
    • van der Heide, Jaap J. Homan, Supervisor, External person
    • Niesing, Jan, Co-supervisor
    Award date22-Oct-2018
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-94-034-1000-5
    Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-0999-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Cite this