Alcohol abuse history influences quality of life following liver transplant

Mar 09, 2011

A history of alcohol abuse significantly impacts quality of life for patients after liver transplant, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital.

"Transplant recipients with alcoholic cirrhosis experienced less improvement in physical quality of life and reported greater pain and physical limitations than non-alcoholics after transplant surgery," says Anne Eshelman, Ph.D., Henry Ford Behavioral Health Services, lead author of the study.

"Understanding alcoholic and nonalcoholic patients' post-transplant change in quality of life may assist in treatment planning. Our results suggest that better interventions to improve , mobilize support, and help patients rebuild their lives after transplantation may improve quality of life in this high-risk population."

Study results were published in the most recent issue of Transplant Proceedings.

A sample of 65 end-stage patients were surveyed before and after for physical and mental health quality of life using the SF-36 Physical Health Summary and Mental Health Summary. Baseline data was collected prior to transplant and follow-up data was collected at one and six months after transplantation.

Results indicate physical quality of life did not improve significantly between one- and six-month follow-up for patients with alcohol abuse history.

By contrast, mental health quality improved significantly between baseline and one-month follow-up, but not between one- and six-month follow-up. No significant differences were found on the Mental Health Summary index based on alcohol abuse history for either time period.

"For liver transplant patients, improvements in psychosocial functioning and quality of life precede improvements in physical quality of life. We found that weakened physical quality of life improvements for patients with histories are related to greater pain and physical deficits," explains Dr. Eshelman.

"Some alcoholics may have lower pain thresholds and may have used substances for self-medication for both physical and emotional pain, and post-transplant, they may have less effective coping strategies to manage pain."

According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, more than 6,000 people undergo transplant surgery each year and there are nearly 17,000 people currently waiting for liver transplant.

Explore further: Doctor behind 'free radical' aging theory dies

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study shows lifetime effects of pediatric liver transplants

Mar 26, 2008

Parents of pediatric liver transplant recipients report lower health-related quality of life for their children two years after the surgery, compared to reports from the parents of healthy children. However, reports of family ...

Study shows liver transplant center impacts patient outcomes

May 03, 2010

For patients in need of a liver transplant, their choice of a transplant center can make a noteworthy difference in their outcomes, according to a Mayo Clinic study presented at the American Transplant Congress under way ...

Adult liver transplant eligibility criteria

Oct 22, 2008

The pain is debilitating. The only option: smoking medical marijuana. That's the reality for many hepatitis C patients whose road to health includes a liver transplant. Although Canadian transplant centres are more willing ...

Recommended for you

Doctor behind 'free radical' aging theory dies

Nov 25, 2014

Dr. Denham Harman, a renowned scientist who developed the most widely accepted theory on aging that's now used to study cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses, has died in Nebraska at age 98.

Mexican boy who had massive tumor recovering

Nov 25, 2014

An 11-year-old Mexican boy who had pieces of a massive tumor removed and who drew international attention after U.S. officials helped him get treatment in the southwestern U.S. state of New Mexico is still recovering after ...

New medical device to make the mines safer

Nov 21, 2014

Dehydration can be a serious health issue for Australia's mining industry, but a new product to be developed with input from Flinders University's Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) is set to more effectively ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.