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Keywords:

  • anxiety;
  • organ;
  • questionnaire;
  • stress;
  • transplantation;
  • waiting list

ABSTRACT

Aim:  We aimed to gain an understanding of patient concerns while on a transplantation waiting list in areas with long transplant waiting time.

Methods:  The study population comprised patients with organ failure on the transplant waiting list in Hong Kong. They were invited to complete a questionnaire survey. Demographic data and waiting time were collected. Respondents rated their chance of getting transplanted, their subjective concerns and feelings, level of happiness and support received.

Results:  A total of 442 patients on the waiting list for kidney, liver, lung and heart-lung transplants completed the questionnaire survey. The majority of patients (93.0%) were waiting for kidney transplantation. More than half of the respondents (63.3%) had been waiting for more than 3 years. Patients with longer transplant waiting times had lower self-estimated chance of receiving a transplant (P = 0.004). Self-estimated chance of getting transplanted was positively associated with the happiness score (P < 0.0001). Issues of most concerns to the patients waiting for organ transplants were: inconvenience of therapy (48.2%), disease progression (47.9%), burden to family (59.5%) and financial difficulties (52.3%). More female patients on the waiting list (50.0% vs 25.7% in male) reported concerns about suffering associated with the illnesses. 21.7% of patients considered the level of support received inadequate.

Conclusions:  Our patients had long waiting time for transplantation, which is associated with a lower perceived chance of getting a transplant. Attention to more psychosocial support to these patients waiting for organ transplant is important. Promoting and improving organ donation would be the ultimate way to help these patients.