Pain and health related quality of life after heart, kidney, and liver transplantation


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Abstract

No study has focused particularly on the sensory and affective experience of bodily pain among transplanted patients. The aim of this study was to explore pain and other factors that influence health related quality of life (HRQOL) in heart, kidney, and liver transplant recipients during the first 2 yr after transplantation, and to define similarities and/or differences in the three groups.A total of 76 patients, 18-60 yr old, undergoing heart, kidney, or liver transplantation between 1995 and 1997 with a follow-up of 6-24 months were included. HRQOL and pain were investigated by using the Short-Form-36 items (SF-36), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD), and the Pain-O-Meter (POM).Overall, the patients show satisfactory HRQOL. There were no differences in experienced HRQOL 6-24 months after transplantation between kidney, liver, and heart transplant recipients except in the area of Role-Physical (RP). Fifty-three percent of all patients reported bodily pain. The most common locations were the hands, feet, and back, and sensory experiences were burning, stabbing, or dull pain. There was a correlation between number of rejections and total score for POM-VAS (p < 0.05) (rho = 0.47). There was also a correlation between the number of rejection episodes and the total pain intensity score for POM-WDS (p < 0.05) (rho = 0.48). Patients with pain scored higher in the area of depression (p < 0.05).Bodily pain is an important problem after organ transplantation, affecting daily living even in patients with good allograft function and it limits physical function, vitality, and general health.

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