Researchers from Copenhagen, Denmark, investigated fatigue and physical function after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT).
All adult surviving liver transplant recipients, who underwent OLT in Copenhagen from 1990 to 1998, were included in the study (n = 154).
Each was contacted by mail and asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire. The response rate was 84%.
The questionnaire contained the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey, the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. It also consisted of questions on marital status, education, and work.
Liver transplant recipients reported poorer self-rated health than the general population in physical, but not in mental, health areas.
|Factors affecting physical function and fatigue after OLT:|
- Work status
- Survival time
| Liver Transplantation |
One health aspect, fatigue, was investigated in great detail. The authors found that liver transplant recipients experienced physical, rather than mental, fatigue.
Diagnosis was found to be a predictor of postoperative physical function and fatigue. This was because patients with an alcoholic or cryptogenic cirrhosis background had significantly poorer physical function, and experienced more physical fatigue, than liver transplant recipients with other diagnoses.
In addition, work status and survival time after OLT had significant effects on postoperative physical function and fatigue.
Working and having undergone transplantation 4 to 5 years previously were associated with significantly better physical function and less physical fatigue. This was when compared to not working and having undergone transplantation 1 to 3 years previously.
Mette Aadahl, of the University of Copenhagen, concluded on behalf of the group, "This study suggests that liver transplant recipients experience physical, rather than mental, impairment and fatigue.
"Diagnosis, work status, and survival time after OLT are associated with physical function and fatigue."