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Pediatr Clin North Am. 2003 Dec;50(6):1505-19.

Psychosocial adaptation after solid organ transplantation in children.

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Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Pediatric Nephrology and Transplantation, University of Helsinki, Stenbäckinkatu 11, FIN-00290, Finland.


The possibility of extending life with advanced medical procedures such as organ transplantation in childhood has made it possible to focus on patients' well-being in a wider perspective. They still experience a high prevalence of medical and physical disabilities, which definitively have an impact on a child's psychosocial adjustment after transplantation. Many disabilities originate before transplantation, and much effort should be taken to diminish possible complications and ameliorate growth and neurodevelopment, which have an impact for later adjustment regardless of a successful transplantation. Well-being and QOL are not necessarily always correlated to the degree of physical disability. Different social, financial, and demographic factors also have an impact, as do children's and families' ability to cope with a chronic disorder. Nonadherence and noncompliance are a great problem, particularly in adolescents. They are the result and a possible cause of inferior psychosocial adjustment. Continuous multidisciplinary support, follow-up, and education are needed to cope with this problem. Validated and reliable health status measures in pediatric transplant recipients are scarce in the literature, and few assessments can be completed by the children themselves. A continuing effort must be made to improve psychosocial adjustment and QOL after transplantation to achieve the ultimate goal in medicine: the overall well-being of our patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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