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Functional status and perceived control influence quality of life in female heart transplant recipients.



The purpose of this study was 2-fold: (1) to describe and compare the quality of life (QOL) and psychologic well-being of 2 groups of women matched for age and functional status (6-minute walk distance), including those who had received a heart transplant and those who were candidates on a transplant waiting list; and (2) to identify correlates of QOL in female heart transplant recipients.


Data were collected from 50 female recipients (mean age 54.7 +/- 13.0 years) and 50 female candidates (mean age 56.8 +/- 12.2 years) from a major heart transplant facility using the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire, the Beck Depression Inventory and the Control Attitude Scale.


The overall QOL scores were 28.0 +/- 26.4 and 56.3 +/- 26.1 for recipients and candidates, respectively (p < 0.01), with lower scores denoting higher QOL. The mean physical health (11.3 +/- 11.2 vs 19.9 +/- 12.1, p < 0.01) and emotional health (7.5 +/- 8.2 vs 12.8 +/- 7.8, p < 0.001) scores were also lower (reflecting higher physical and emotional health) for recipients as compared with candidates. Likewise, recipients reported significantly (p < 0.001) lower depressive moods (23.2 +/- 8.2 vs 45.8 +/- 16.3) and higher perceived control (10.9 +/- 4.3 vs 8.6 +/- 1.9) compared with candidates. Functional status, depression and perceived control were significant correlates of QOL among female recipients and accounted for 49% variance in overall QOL.


Although overall QOL of was better among female heart transplant recipients than candidates, both groups of women reported poor QOL. Clinicians need to identify potential resources and interventions to improve QOL both before and after heart transplant surgery.

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