Objective: Quality of life (QOL) studies of lung transplant recipients indicate that there are improvements following transplantation. More recently, there has been some suggestion that certain QOL issues are different for men and women. The purpose of the present study was to examine changes in QOL, body satisfaction, and sexual functioning in women lung transplant recipients.
Study population: Seven prelung transplant (PRE) and 34 postlung transplant (POST) women. Main outcome measures: The RAND-36 Health Survey, Body Cathexis Scale, Derogatis Sexual Functioning Inventory, Hospital Depression and Anxiety Scale, Rosenberg Self-Esteen Scale, and an open-ended questionnaire.
Results: Higher scores were found in the POST group with respect to general health and role limitations due to physical health. We were unable to detect significant differences between the groups with respect to emotional well-being, role limitations due to emotional health, and social functioning. There were significant differences between the PRE and the POST body satisfaction scores. Although there was no significant difference in overall sexual functioning, recipients in the PRE group reported higher sex drive. Eleven of the POST recipients (52%) scored below the 10th percentile in overall sexual functioning.
Conclusions: Overall QOL improves following lung transplantation; however, the lack of differences in many domains of QOL raises the concern that women lung transplant recipients may continue to have significant impairments, including those regarding sexuality and body satisfaction.