The Department of Psychology within a Pediatric Cardiac Transplant Unit

A. Rossi, C. De Ranieri, P. Tabarini, V. Di Ciommo, R. Di Donato, G. Biondi, F. Parisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 1979, the department of Psychology started its activity to provide psychological support to patients and their families during the course of treatment and during the follow-up period. Since 1986, a transplantation program was initiated in the cardiology and pediatric cardiac surgery departments, performing 179 cardiac, 3 heart-kidney, 18 heart-lung 14 both lung, 1 heart-lung-liver, and 1 single lung transplantation. From 1993, to September 2010 the kidney transplant program has performed. 218 cases. Since 2008, we performed (32 liver and 1 intestinal transplantations). We examined the quality of life and coping with transplantation attitudes because there is recent evidence of high levels of family anxiety and depression related to a child's poor response to the disease and compliance. Our work associated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with anxiety and with these clinical variables: gender pathology, rejection, number of drugs frequency of hospital visits, number of hospitalizations, as well as age at and time from transplantation. We examined 56 parents (25 fathers and 31 mothers) of cardiac transplant recipients. Our most relevant data demonstrated the presence of PTSD among 52% of mothers and 40% of fathers. Significant correlations were observed within the trait of anxiety. No correlations were noted between PTSD and other variables. Testing anxiety levels of parents is considered to be basic to provide psychological support to parents, encourage personal skills, and avoid PTSD symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1164-1167
Number of pages4
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation

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