What’s on your mind? emotions and perceptions of liver transplant candidates and recipients


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    Undergoing a liver transplant is a stressful and major life event. A significant part of the Dutch liver transplant patients experience, therefore, psychological problems such as symptoms of anxiety, depression, or posttraumatic stress (PTS), both before and after the transplant.
    A prospective study among 260 patients of all Dutch liver transplant centers, shows that of the waiting-list patients 49% experience symptoms of anxiety, 34% depressive symptoms, and 32% symptoms of PTS. Patients who once show symptoms of anxiety or depression remain anxious or depressed throughout the waiting-list period. Although the transplant has a beneficial effect on the psychological functioning of liver transplant recipients, a significant part show persistent symptoms (23% anxiety, 29% depression, 15% PTS) in the first two years after the transplant. These patients also report poorer results regarding medication adherence and quality of life.
    Besides this, a cross-sectional study among 281 patients who underwent a liver transplant at the University Medical Center Groningen between 1979 and 2009, shows that psychological problems are also present in the long-term after transplantation. Over 35% of the patients who had been transplanted longer than 10 years ago reported psychological problems, in particular anxiety (33%) and depression (23%).
    Important risk factors associated with psychological problems are individual factors, such as sense of control and coping style, and transplant-related factors, such as severity of liver disease symptoms and side-effects of the immunosuppressive medication.
    Our results emphasize the importance of psychosocial screening and support in the care of liver transplant patients throughout the transplant process.
    Originele taal-2English
    KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
    Toekennende instantie
    • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • Ranchor, Adelita, Supervisor
    • Roodbol, Petrie, Supervisor
    • Porte, Robert, Supervisor
    Datum van toekenning9-jan.-2017
    Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
    Gedrukte ISBN's978-90-367-9412-1
    Elektronische ISBN's978-90-367-9412-4
    StatusPublished - 2017


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