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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

Mental Status in Patients Before and After Liver Transplantation

Christian Benzing, Nicco Krezdorn, Andreas Hinz, Heide Glaesmer, Elmar Brähler, Julia Förster, Georg Wiltberger, Felix Krenzien, Moritz Schmelzle, Michael Bartels

Department of Visceral, Thoracic, Transplantation and Vascular Surgery, University Medical Center Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

Ann Transplant 2015; 20:683-693

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.894916

Available online: 2015-11-17

Published: 2015-11-17


BACKGROUND: In contrast to the well-described beneficial organic effects of liver transplantation (OLT) in patients with end-stage liver disease, changes in the mental status of patients after OLT remain poorly understood. The current study seeks to evaluate the influence of OLT on anxiety, depression, and dispositional optimism in patients with end-stage liver disease.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Questionnaires were sent to patients on the OLT waiting list and patients after OLT. Depression/anxiety and dispositional optimism were assessed using the HADS and LOT-R questionnaires, respectively. These findings were compared to results from the general population.
RESULTS: The number of returned questionnaires was 292 of 940 (31.1%; 57 patients on the liver transplant waiting list: waiting group, 235 liver transplant recipients: OLT group). Both depression and anxiety scores were significantly higher in the waiting group when compared to the OLT group (p<0.05) and the general population (anxiety: p<0.001, depression: p<0.05), respectively. The OLT group was characterized by significantly higher anxiety scores (p<0.001) compared to the general population. Depression and summation scores did not differ (p>0.05).
Dispositional optimism was higher in the OLT group compared to the waiting group (p<0.05) and to the general population (p<0.01). The waiting group had equal values as the general population (p>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Besides beneficial effects on liver function, OLT appears to be associated with significant improvements in depression and anxiety and a more optimistic view of life.

Keywords: Anxiety, Depression, Liver Transplantation, Waiting Lists