Background: Lung transplantation has proven to be an effective treatment option for patients with end-stage lung disease with profound effects on both survival and health-related quality of life (HRQL). Generally, studies have reported improved HRQL after lung transplantation. When assessing HRQL, physical, psychologic or social dimensions are usually included. However, it is unclear what predicts outcome, to what extent, and whether there are differences in predictors between dimensions of HRQL. Knowledge about these predictors may be useful when making choices regarding therapy. The research question in the present study was: What are the predicting variables of physical and psychologic dimensions of HRQL, and do they differ?
Methods: Results from studies of the physical dimension (the Nottingham Health Profile's energy and mobility scales) and the psychologic dimension (Zung depression and STAI anxiety scores) from 140 transplanted patients with a maximum follow-up of almost 10 years were assessed using mixed-model analysis. For both dimensions, the following variables were tested for their predictive value: age; gender; diagnosis; year of transplantation; time on the waiting list; type of transplantation; bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome; and pre-transplant HRQL scores.
Results: With regard to the physical dimension after lung transplantation, presence of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), age and pre-transplant scores on the measure under study were significant predictors for both energy and mobility. For mobility, gender appeared to be an additional predictor. With regard to the psychologic dimension after lung transplantation, BOS was a predictor for both anxiety and depression. Pre-transplant depression was an additional predictor for post-transplant depression, and age was an additional predictor for anxiety.
Conclusions: Several variables were identified that predicted HRQL after lung transplantation. These variables differed between the physical and psychologic dimensions. The presence of BOS was a predictor for both dimensions. The present findings may be helpful when choosing or developing interventions aimed at improving HRQL after lung transplantation.