The quality of life of patients on the lung transplantation waiting list

Transplant Proc. 2008 Apr;40(3):819-21. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2008.02.035.


Introduction: Lung transplantation (LTx) candidates present incapacitating symptoms related to their mobility and activities of daily living, thereby affecting their work, social and emotional relations, and quality of life (QoL).

Objective: To study the QoL of LTx candidates, seeking to identify domains that suffer the greatest impact and verify if there are differences among these impairments according to the original lung disease.

Methods: We applied the Short Form-36 questionnaires and St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). All data were analyzed by one-way analysis of variance and the Kruskal Wallis test for the probability with significance at P < 0.05.

Results: Fifty patients were divided into groups of emphysema (n = 16), bronchiectasis (n = 12), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (n = 7), and cystic fibrosis (n = 15). The functional capacity, physical aspects, general status, and vitality domains showed average values below 50 points. The cystic fibrosis group showed higher functional capacity scores (46 +/- 23) than the emphysema (12 +/- 13) or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis cohort (7 +/- 5). The limitation caused by pain affected the bronchiectasis more than the cystic fibrosis group (52 +/- 28 vs 81 +/- 25, respectively). The SGRQ scores showed impairment among all groups in all domains with average values over 50. The activities domain shows the highest score value; the emphysema (92 +/- 10) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis cohorts (91 +/- 9) were extremely affected compared with the cystic fibrosis (69 +/- 21) and bronchiectasis subjects (79 +/- 16). The impact domain show that subjects with cystic fibrosis were less emotionally affected by the disease.

Conclusion: LTx candidates showed great impairment of their QoL due to their health problems, above all in the physical-functional aspects; the cystic fibrosis patients were the least affected by their health status.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / classification
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology
  • Lung Diseases / surgery
  • Lung Transplantation / physiology*
  • Lung Transplantation / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Waiting Lists*