Mary Amanda Dew, PhD ; Jan Manzetti, RN, PhD ; Jean R. Goycoolea, MA ; Ann Lee, RN, CRNP ; Rachelle Zomak, RN, MSN ; Judith L. Vensak, RN, BSN; Kenneth McCurry, MD ; Robert L. Kormos, MD


June 17, 2002


End-stage organ disease and organ transplantation exemplify paradoxical situations of loss and revitalization that many of us experience in different forms during the life course. The multiple issues that arise concerning ability to adapt to changing health and functional capacity, altered social relationships, new perceptions of self, and revised life goals and plans are concerns that transcend the field of transplantation. Likewise, clinicians and healthcare professionals -- even those who have little direct experience with transplant candidates, recipients, and their families -- are likely to have a range of personal and professional experiences that can serve as basic tools to guide them in providing sensitive and appropriate care to transplant recipients and their families.

Psychological and psychosocial features of the transplant experience, from the point of initial contact with the transplant team through extended follow-up in the posttransplant years, will be explored. The objectives of this chapter are to:

  • examine the key psychosocial issues facing the patient, family, and transplant team

  • describe potential assessments and interventions that the transplant team might use to address these psychosocial issues

  • provide tools for the development of plans to optimally tailor care and services to meet the unique psychosocial needs of transplant patients and their families.


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