The influence of psychosocial evaluation on candidacy for liver transplantation

Nancy E. Flamme, Colin L. Terry, Paul R. Helft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Context - Although medical factors clearly dominate the evaluation of appropriateness for liver transplant, psychosocial factors are an important dimension in the evaluation process. Objective - To understand more about the weight assigned to psychosocial factors in the decision to list patients for liver transplant and about whether such differences create hidden inequities in the transplant allocation system. Design - We conducted a mail survey of liver transplant surgeons and psychosocial evaluators at busy transplant centers assessing the importance these professionals assigned to psychosocial factors in evaluations for liver transplant candidacy. Participants - Liver transplant surgeons and psychosocial evaluators from the highest volume liver transplant centers in the United States. Intervention - Mail survey Results - Psychosocial evaluators assigned greater importance to availability of transportation, adaptation to stress, and coping skills than did surgeons. Transplant psychosocial evaluators were less likely than transplant surgeons to recommend that a patient with a history of poor social support be listed for liver transplant. We found no correlation between relative weight assigned to psychosocial factors and median wait times at transplant centers. These differences suggest that the relationship between the factors identified by psychosocial evaluators as important and transplant outcomes should be studied. Overall, more research into the predictive and ethical aspects of psychosocial evaluation for liver transplant is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-96
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Transplantation
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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