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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2002 Jun;70(3):771-83.

Psychological assessment and care of organ transplant patients.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298-0268, USA.


Organ transplant has been developed in animal models over the past 100 years. The major limiting factor in transplant medicine is the shortage of donor organs. This shortage creates pressure for fair and efficient allocation of organs, with expectations that those involved in transplantation will strive to achieve optimal outcomes and ensure just access. This article reviews the major types of transplants and the illnesses and behavioral comorbidities that lead to these procedures, the psychological assessment of transplant candidates, the adaptive tasks required of the transplant recipient at various stages of the transplant process, and relevant psychological interventions. Liaison with others on the transplant team and ethical issues of concern to psychologists who work with transplant patients, including living organ donors, are also discussed. Finally, new developments in transplant and suggestions for future psychological research in organ transplant are presented.

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