Depression and quality of life in patients living 10 to 18 years beyond heart transplantation

Paolo Fusar-Poli, Valentina Martinelli, Catherine Klersy, Carlo Campana, Aliria Callegari, Francesco Barale, Mario Viganò, Pierluigi Politi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The purpose of this study was to advance current understanding of factors that influence long-term quality-of-life (QoL) outcomes after heart transplantation, by addressing the influence of depression on perceived health status. Methods: Data were collected from all recipients (n = 137) still alive at >10 years after transplantation. They completed the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) questionnaire, while objective measures of health status were retrieved from medical records. All instruments used had acceptable reliability and validity. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, general linear regression models and survival analysis. Results: We assessed 137 patients who received transplants between November 1985 and June 1994 in Pavia and have survived 10 to 18 years after transplantation (mean 13.64 years, SD 2.25). They rated their health as good and only the physical QoL (PCS) was impaired when compared with the general population. Thirty-two percent of patients experienced mood depressive symptoms in the long term after transplantation, indicating a low perceived QoL. Higher educational qualification (p = 0.049), being unemployed and receiving a disability pension (p = 0.001), high triglycerides levels (p = 0.020) and lack of physical activity (p <0.001) were predictors of high BDI scores. Conclusions: Assessment of depression levels and better understanding of risk factors for psychiatric disorders in the long term after transplantation could be of benefit in predicting negative outcomes and allowing future developments in patient management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2269-2278
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


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