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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Overall mental distress and health-related quality of life after solid-organ transplantation: results from a retrospective follow-up study

Andreas Baranyi1*, Till Krauseneck2 and Hans-Bernd Rothenhäusler12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Medicine of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 31, 8036, Graz, Austria

2 Department of Psychiatry, Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, Nußbaumstraße 7, 80336, Munich, Germany

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Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2013, 11:15  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-11-15

Published: 8 February 2013

Abstract

Background

Our retrospective follow-up study aimed to explore the degree of overall mental distress in a cohort of solid-organ transplantation (SOT) recipients after liver, heart or lung transplantation. Furthermore, we investigated how overall mental distress is linked to health-related quality of life.

Methods

123 SOT patients treated during the study period were enrolled in this investigation at a mean of 24.6 months (SD=11.6) after transplantation. Before transplantation, the Transplant Evaluation Rating Scale (TERS) was used to classify the level of adjustment in psychosocial functioning among transplantation candidates. After transplantation, recipients completed a research battery, which included the SCL-90-R, and the SF-36.

Results

39 (31.7%) transplantation recipients had clinically significant overall mental distress as measured on the Global Severity Index of the SCL-90-R. Obsessive-compulsive symptoms (92.3%), somatization symptoms (87.2%), anxiety symptoms (84.6%), depression symptoms (82.1%) and phobic anxiety symptoms (69.2%) were a frequent finding.

Transplantation recipients with overall mental distress had significant lower levels of adjustment in psychosocial functioning before transaplantation than those without overall mental distress as measured in the TERS. Transplantation-related overall mental distress symptomatology was associated with maximal decrements in health-related quality of life.

Conclusion

Transplantation recipients may face major transplantation- and treatment-related overall mental distress and impairments to their health-related quality of life. Further, overall mental distress is a high-risk factor in intensifying impairments to patients’ overall quality of life.

Keywords:
Solid-organ transplantation; Overall mental distress; Health-related quality of life