A team from Innsbruck, Austria, assessed normalization in the lives of liver transplant patients and the impact of preoperative expectations on postoperative quality of life (QOL).
55 liver transplant patients (32 men) were included in the study.
A semi-structured interview, two QOL questionnaires, and chart reviews of medical histories were conducted.
The researchers found that 60% of patients had predominantly optimistic preoperative expectations of a normal lifestyle post-transplantation. However, postoperatively, only 40% thought that their expectations had been realized.
|60% of liver transplant patients had optimistic preoperative expectations.|
Postoperatively, only 40% thought their expectations had been realized.
|Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation|
The patients' Sickness Impact Profile values showed significant impairments in nearly every area of life, when compared with the values of a healthy control group. Only ‘complications during the hospitalized phase' had a statistically significant impact among the sociodemographic and clinical parameters on postoperative quality of life.
The lowest QOL scores were found among patients whose expectations of a return to normal lifestyle had not been realized.
Dr Bernhard Holzner, of the University Hospital Innsbruck, concluded, "Unmet lifestyle expectations after liver transplantation may lead to increased stress, which affects quality of life long-term.
"This finding is of clinical relevance; therapeutic measures, particularly professional pre-transplant counseling, are indicated."