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Keywords:

  • Family coping;
  • liver transplantation;
  • stress

ISSUES AND PURPOSE This study examined the relationship of family stress, severity of the stressor, uncertainty, coping, and family adaptation from pretransplantation to posttransplantation.

DESIGN AND METHODS A descriptive, longitudinal study of 15 mothers whose children were at least 5 years posttransplantation.

RESULTS Maternal stress, coping, and uncertainty demonstrated significant changes over time, whereas family stress did not. Pretransplantation family stress, anger, and confusion were related to poorer family adaptation.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS Interventions for mothers pretransplantation should account for the coping, levels of stress, and uncertainty present at each phase of the transplantation process. Interventions need to be tailored to the transplantation phase. Long-term interventions remain necessary and should be directed at reinforcement of teaching, as well as assessment and provision of parental support relevant to the long-term needs of the family.