Study objectives: To determine the impact of lung
transplantation on patients’ function and quality of life (QOL), 10
lung transplant patients were followed from before transplantation to 3
months after transplantation. The following variables were examined:
(1) perceived functional status; (2) respiratory function; (3) moods;
(4) satisfaction with overall QOL and health; and (5) thoughts about
the decision to undergo lung transplantation.
A longitudinal, small-group, repeated-measures design.
Setting: A large Midwest university medical center.
Measurements and results: Several instruments were used to
measure perceived health, QOL, functional status, and respiratory
function. The perceived improvement in physical function after
transplantation was accompanied by increased satisfaction with physical
strength, current health, and QOL. In addition, dramatic improvements
in pulmonary function were seen after transplantation (FVC,
FEV1, and forced expiratory flow at 25 to 75% of FVC);
however, only the FEV1 values significantly improved
between 1 and 3 months after transplantation. For example, the
FEV1 (mean ± SD) increased from 22 ± 11% of
predicted before transplantation to 46 ± 12% and 55 ± 14% of
predicted at 1 month and 3 months after transplantation, respectively.
Although the total number of psychological symptoms did not decrease
significantly over time, the intensity and distress associated with the
symptoms did. Psychological function scores did not change
significantly. Ninety percent of the subjects reported being very
satisfied with their transplant decision.
Lung transplantation significantly improved the subjects’ overall
function and their satisfaction with their QOL and health status.
However, since this report only addressed data for the first 3 months
after transplantation, additional longitudinal research is needed to
further elucidate the experiences and outcomes associated with lung