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Affective Status in Liver Transplant Recipients as a Function of Self-perception of General Health

Transplantation Proceedings
DOI: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2012.09.052
  • Medicine
  • Psychology


Abstract Objective We aimed to determine whether there were differences with regard to anxiety and depressive symptomatology between liver transplant recipients with better (G1) versus worse (G2) self-perceptions of general health compared with pre–liver transplantation cirrhotic patients (G3). Methods The groups of patients included 168 recipients including 85 and 83 with better or worse self-perceptions of general health, respectively, and 75 cirrhotic pre–liver transplantation patients. For the psychological assessment we used the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the general health dimension of the SF-36 Health Questionnaire. The following analyses were used: Analysis of variance (ANOVA) with post hoc pairwise comparisons by means of Tukey's test and Cohen's d, an effect size index. Results Significant differences were observed among the three groups for the variables of anxiety (P = .000) and depression (P = .000). Specifically, liver transplant recipients with better self-perceptions of general health displayed lower scores (better mental health) compared with those showing worse self-perceptions or cirrhotic patients. There were no differences between the latter two groups. The differences in these variables were relevant (large effect sizes) for anxiety (Cohen's d1–2 = −1.075, Cohen's d1–3 = −1.155) and for depression (Cohen's d1–2 = −1.145, Cohen's d1–3 = −1.158). Conclusion The anxious-depressive status was not necessarily better among liver transplant recipients. There was great variability among them as a function of self-perceived general health. Transplant recipients with worse self-perception of general health presented the same anxiety-depressive levels as patients with severe liver disease in the pretransplantation phase; the latter groups reach the clinical threshold on the depression scale.

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