The aim of the study was to assess the quality of life (QOL) and the physical activity of liver transplant recipients compared with the general population. The case-controlled pilot study was accomplished through the administration of 2 questionnaires: 36-item Medical Outcomes Study, Short-Form General Health Survey (SF-36) for quality of life (10 scores) and International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) to estimate the physical activity (metabolic equivalent score). Fifty-four patients who underwent liver transplantation using the piggyback technique and 108 controls from the general population at the orthopedic ambulatories were enrolled between 2002 and 2009. Participants had a mean age of 55 years (range, 41-73). The multivariate analysis showed significant differences for some scales of the SF-36: liver transplant recipients displayed lower values for "Mental Composite Score" (P = .043), "physical activity" (P = .001), "role limitations due to physical health" (P = .006), "role limitations due to the emotional state" (P = .006), and "mental health" (P = .010). The metabolic equivalent positively associated with all examined SF-36 scales. The present study focused on the QOL and physical activity of liver transplant recipients, demonstrating that transplant recipients scored lower than the general population. Liver transplantation may allow full recovery of health status, but the physical and social problems persist in some patients. Interventions aimed at improving rehabilitation programs, regular psychosocial support, and follow-up in all phases of treatment may give patients a more satisfying lifestyle after transplantation.
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