Stress, psychological distress, and coping in patients on the waiting list for lung transplantation: an exploratory study

Transpl Int. 2005 Aug;18(8):954-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-2277.2005.00169.x.


Little information is available in literature on quality of life, stress and coping during the period patients are waiting for lung transplantation. This study explored potential stressful events that patients experience during the waiting period assessed the level of anxiety and depression and explored the use of coping strategies. Cross sectional analysis were performed. Between 3 and 27 months the number of patients that participated varied between 70 and 21. Measurements took place every 3 months until 27 months after waiting list placement. Instruments were the State Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS)-Zung and questions concerning stress and coping. Feeling tension caused by 'having to wear a beeper', and 'being afraid that the transplantation will come too late' were identified as important stress factors. Patients on the waiting list experienced more anxiety and depression, compared to the general population. The longer patients had been on the waiting list, the more anxiety and depression they experienced. Positive coping strategies like 'trying to relax' were more frequently used than negative ones like 'taking sedatives'. Stress, anxiety, and depression occur frequently in waiting list patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Transplantation / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*
  • Waiting Lists*