We prospectively studied adult liver transplant (OLTX) recipients to evaluate the effect of OLTX on quality of life (QOL). Over an 8-year period, all adult patients undergoing OLTX at our institution were asked to complete a psychological questionnaire that probed broad facets of QOL. Patients seen for their 1, 2, and 5 or more-year post-OLTX visits were also asked to complete the form. Questions were then grouped by categories broadly highlighting self-image (SI), health perception (HP), ability to function (F), and ability to work (W). Questions ranged from demographic and occupational topics to symptom distress/frequency, activities of daily living, and the impact of health on daily life. Numerical scores were assigned to each question, and added to derive scores on SI, HP, and F. Higher scores reflect better QOL. Employment data (W) were also compared, though not amenable to scoring. A total of 573 forms were completed (210 pretransplant, 150 at 1 year, 131 at 2 years, 79 at 5 years). All posttransplant scores were significantly higher than pretransplant ones (P≤.0001, ANOVA). Scores at posttransplant time points were not significantly different from each other. Subscores of SI and HP revealed less symptom frequency and distress following OLTX (P≤.0003) continuing to beyond 5 years. Health limitations on activities decreased both at 1 year post-OLTX and again at 2 years (P≤.0001) and were sustained to beyond 5 years. Fewer people were working for pay at 1 year post-compared with pre-OLTX, but pre-OLTX levels of employment had been regained by the second year, continuing to increase to beyond 5 years. OLTX leads to improved QOL by the end of the first posttransplant year, sustained through the 5th posttransplant year and beyond. Self-image, functioning ability, and perception of health status were significantly improved. Ill health interference in daily life continues to decrease as OLTX becomes more remote. Employment suffers early after OLTX, but recovers by the second post-OLTX year and continues to increase long-term.
ASJC Scopus subject areas