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Rothenhäusler, Hans-Bernd; Ehrentraut, Sigrid; Kapfhammer, Hans-Peter; Lang, Christina; Zachoval, Reinhart; Bilzer, Manfred; Schelling, Gustav and Gerbes, Alexander L. (2002): Psychiatric and psychosocial outcome of orthotopic liver transplantation. In: Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, No. 5: pp. 285-297 [PDF, 163kB]


Background. The study aimed to explore the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) recipients, and to investigate how psychiatric morbidity was linked to health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Methods: We recruited 75 patients who had undergone OLT a median of 3.8 years previously (range = 5-129 months). Psychiatric morbidity was assessed using the Structural Clinical Interview for the IDSM-III-R. Psychometric observer-rating and self-rating scales were administered to evaluate cognitive functioning (SKT), depressive symptomatology (HAMD(17)), Posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS-10), social support (SSS), and HRQOL (SF-36 Health Status Questionnaire). Treatment characteristics were obtained from medical records. Results: 22.7% (n = 17) of our sample had a current or probable psychiatric diagnosis according to DSM-III-R: 2.7% full posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (n = 2), 2.7% major depressive disorder (MDD) comorbid to full PTSD (n = 2), 1.3% MDD comorbid to partial PTSD (n = 1), and 16% partial PTSD (n = 12). Patients with PTSD symptoms demonstrated lower cognitive performance, higher severity of depressive symptoms and more unfavorable perception of social support. OLT-related PTSD symptomatology was associated with maximal decrements in HRQOL. The duration of intensive care treatment, the number of medical complications, and the occurrence of acute rejection were positively correlated with the risk of PTSD symptoms subsequent to OLT. Conclusion: OLT-related PTSD symptomatology impairing HRQOL is a complication for a subgroup of OLT recipients. Health-care providers should be aware of the possible presence of PTSD in OLT survivors. Copyright (C) 2002 S. KargerAG, Basel.

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