The psychosocial impact of pediatric heart transplantation

J Heart Lung Transplant. 1992 Nov-Dec;11(6):1160-7.


Children with terminal heart disease experience a dramatic improvement in functional status after heart transplantation but may be at increased risk for problems in psychosocial adaptation. Selected psychosocial outcomes were assessed in 49 pediatric heart transplant recipients and their families from five heart transplantation centers. Heart transplant recipients did not appear significantly different from their peers on self-report measures of self-concept and anxiety, but they showed significantly less social competence and more behavior problems than a normative population. Behavior problems observed were most frequently suggestive of depression and were significantly associated with greater family stress and diminished family resources for managing stress. The study findings further suggest that the heart transplant recipients' ability to verbalize or ventilate their feelings and concerns to others seems to facilitate psychosocial adaptation. Assessment of stress, resources, and coping is imperative to enable health professionals to promote the psychosocial adaptation of pediatric heart transplant recipients and their families.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Heart Transplantation / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Self Concept
  • Stress, Psychological*