Psychosocial Issues in the Assessment and Management of Patients Undergoing Lung Transplantation*

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Abstract

This review examines psychosocial issues among lung transplant patients from the time of assessment through the posttransplant period. Although psychological factors are recognized as being important in the transplant evaluation, no standard approach to psychological assessment currently exists. Lung transplant candidates often experience high levels of psychological distress while awaiting transplant, and both pretransplant and posttransplant psychological functioning have been found to predict posttransplant quality of life, adherence to treatment, and, in some cases, medical outcomes. Given the limited long-term survival following transplantation, improving psychosocial functioning is essential for enhancing outcomes among lung transplant recipients. This review summarizes the extant literature on the psychosocial factors in lung transplantation and highlights several innovative efforts to improve psychological outcomes in this challenging patient population.

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