Study objective: Few studies have examined predictors of quality of life and adjustment after lung transplantation. This study determined whether pretransplant psychological measures predicted physical health, quality of life, and overall adjustment posttransplant. Cross-sectional analyses also examined differences in adjustment and quality of life for lung transplant candidates and recipients.
Design and participants: Seventeen transplant candidates and 60 transplant recipients completed questionnaires measuring adjustment and quality of life. In addition, we examined archival data on 107 transplant candidates who had received pretransplant psychological assessments, and posttransplant physical health status data were collected on these patients. Of the 107 patients who provided a pretransplant psychological assessment, 32 completed the questionnaires measuring posttransplant adjustment and quality of life.
Setting: University medical center transplant service.
Results: Cross-sectional analyses indicated significantly better adjustment and quality of life posttransplant. Pretransplant psychological variables were not associated with measures of posttransplant physical health. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses found that pretransplant anxiety and psychopathology predicted posttransplant adjustment (β's ranging from 0.32 to 0.68) and greater pretransplant anxiety also predicted worse posttransplant quality of life (β's ranging from 0.29 to 0.62). Subjective sleep disturbances were associated with poorer adjustment and quality of life (β's ranging from 0.36 to 0.75), and were found to mediate the relationship between presurgical anxiety and posttransplant adjustment and quality of life.
Conclusions: This study found that psychological status pretransplant predicted adjustment and quality of life posttransplant. Moreover, increased anxiety levels pretransplant predicted subsequent subjective sleep disturbances, which were, in turn, associated with poorer adjustment and quality of life. The benefits of pretransplant stress management interventions are discussed.