The Psychosocial Assessment of Candidates for Transplantation: A Cohort Study of its Association With Survival Among Lung Transplant Recipients

Mario J. Hitschfeld, Terry D. Schneekloth, Cassie Kennedy, Teresa A. Rummans, Shehzad K. Niazi, Adriana R. Vasquez, Jennifer R. Geske, Tanya M. Petterson, Walter K Kremers, Sheila G. Jowsey-Gregoire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Background The United Network for Organ Sharing mandates a psychosocial assessment of transplant candidates before listing. A quantified measure for determining transplant candidacy is the Psychosocial Assessment of Candidates for Transplant (PACT) scale. This instrumentʼs predictive value for survival has not been rigorously evaluated among lung transplantation recipients. Methods We reviewed medical records of all patients who underwent lung transplantation at Mayo Clinic, Rochester from 2000–2012. A transplant psychiatrist had assessed lung transplant candidates for psychosocial risk with the PACT scale. Recipients were divided into high- and low psychosocial risk cohorts using a PACT score cutoff of 2. The main outcome variable was posttransplant survival. Mortality was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier estimator and Cox proportional hazard models. Results This study included 110 lung recipients: 57 (51.8%) were females, 101 (91.8%) Whites, mean age: 56.4 years. Further, 7 (6.4%) recipients received an initial PACT score <2 (poor or borderline candidates) and later achieved a higher score, allowing transplant listing; 103 (93.6%) received initial scores ≥2 (acceptable, good or great candidates). An initial PACT score < 2 was modestly associated with higher mortality (adjusted hazard ratio = 2.73, p = 0.04). Conclusions Lung transplant recipients who initially received a low score on the PACT scale, reflecting poor or borderline psychosocial candidacy, experienced greater likelihood of mortality. This primary finding suggests that the psychosocial assessment, as measured by the PACT scale, may provide additional mortality risk stratification for lung transplant candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-497
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016



  • lung
  • mortality
  • risk assessment.
  • survival
  • transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Hitschfeld, M. J., Schneekloth, T. D., Kennedy, C., Rummans, T. A., Niazi, S. K., Vasquez, A. R., Geske, J. R., Petterson, T. M., Kremers, W. K., & Jowsey-Gregoire, S. G. (2016). The Psychosocial Assessment of Candidates for Transplantation: A Cohort Study of its Association With Survival Among Lung Transplant Recipients. Psychosomatics, 57(5), 489-497.