Quality of Life in Liver Transplant Recipients: A Retrospective Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 May 27;17(11):3809. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17113809.


Background: This study aims to investigate the quality of life and the therapeutic compliance of the patients who received a liver transplant, from a living or deceased donor, at IRCCS ISMETT in the last three years. Liver transplantation is an effective therapeutic strategy for patients with end-stage liver failure. The quality of life (QOL) of liver disease patients is placed under considerable stress due to the debilitating clinical conditions and related issues experienced in everyday life by these individuals. The concept of QOL is being increasingly used to define the individual perception of health, including physical, mental, and social wellbeing. The success of a liver transplant should therefore be intended not only in terms of survival, but also of recovery of a satisfying quality of life. For this reason, our liver transplant recipients are closely monitored and supported from a psychological standpoint. This is done to monitor their ability to adapt to and comply with their clinical condition and to verify their gradual resumption of their path of life Methods: We retrospectively analyzed data collected by the IRCCS ISMETT Clinical Psychology Service during routine psychological follow-up of liver transplant recipients. Data refer to 82 patients who received a liver transplant between January 2017 and September 2019 and describe their QOL and therapeutic adherence. The obtained results were compared with the main studies on this issue available in literature.

Results: Ninety-four percent of liver transplant recipients reported high mean scores of quality of life and therapeutic adherence 28% of patients reported at least one persistent annoying symptom after transplantation, although in some cases this did not affect the overall QOL. The results also refer to patients with a pre-transplant diagnosis of alcohol-related cirrhosis, who confirm their complete abstinence from alcohol.

Conclusions: Our results confirm the efficacy of the liver transplantation to achieve of a good QOL. Furthermore, these patients seem to maintain high therapeutic adherence, thus ensuring a good outcome of the care received during the transplantation process.

Keywords: compliance; liver transplantation; quality of life; surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Transplant Recipients*