Background: Studies have shown that although liver transplantation would relieve anxiety and depression symptoms perceived by the recipients, the prevalence of those symptoms were still high in the liver transplant recipients compared to the general population. Moreover, these psychiatric disorders would harbor negative implications like the increased risk of non-adherence to treatment regimens and the impaired quality of life in these individual.
Aim: The primary aim of the study was to measure the occurrence of anxiety and depression symptoms in liver transplant recipients. Moreover, the relationships between anxiety, depression and patients’ self-reported quality of life would be examined.
Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted at one general hospital between April and November 2015. Qualified recipients were recruited by convenience sampling at the time when they went to the hospital for a scheduled follow-up visit. Chinese version of Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and post-Liver Transplant Questionnaire (pLTQ) were used to assess the anxiety and depression symptoms and the recipients’ perceived quality of life.
Results: A total of 271 liver transplant recipients (205 males, 66 females) were recruited. The median and quartile score for anxiety and depression were 3(1, 6) and 3(1, 5) respectively. The prevalence of anxiety and depression were 12.18% and 13.28%. Spearman’s correlation indicated that anxiety correlated negatively with pLTQ’s six domain (r ranges from -0.311 to -0.517) and so was the case with depression (r ranges from -0.421 to -0.542). Depression symptom correlated closely with pLTQ’s Physical Function domain (r=-0.542) and anxiety symptom correlated closely with pLTQ’s Worry domain (r=-0.666).
Conclusion: Symptoms of depression and anxiety have been shown to affect the recipients’ perceived quality of life negatively. Compared to Maryam Banihashemi’s investigation in Iran, in which the depression prevalence rate was 5.6%, the prevalence of depression symptom in this study was high. However, compared with other studies examining depression symptom using Beck Depression Inventory (the occurrence, 45%-60%), the occurrence of depression in this study was quite low. The assessment of depression and anxiety is only the first step for the management of those symptoms; the real challenge is to develop successful interventions to relieve depression and anxiety in these recipients.