Emotional distress and quality of life in caregivers of patients awaiting lung transplant

Robyn Lewis Claar, Priti I. Parekh, Scott M. Palmer, Rick A. LaCaille, R. Duane Davis, Sarah K. Rowe, Michael A. Babyak, James A. Blumenthal

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26 Scopus citations


Objective: The aims of this study are to characterize the levels of emotional distress and quality of life among caregivers of lung transplant candidates and to examine the relation of coping styles and perceived caregiver burden to caregivers' self-reported emotional distress. Methods: A consecutive series of primary caregivers of potential lung transplant candidates completed a battery of psychosocial measures, including the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Medical Coping Modes Questionnaire (MCMQ), Scale for Caregiver Burden (SCB), and Medical Outcomes Survey, Short Form-36 (SF-36). Results: Only 12 of the 82 caregivers (14.6%) who volunteered for the study reported clinically significant levels of depression (BDI-II ≥14), and only 2 caregivers (2.4%) reported clinically significant levels of anxiety (STAI ≥60). Passive coping strategies were associated with higher levels of emotional distress; specifically, resignation was associated with increased depression (r=.27, P<.04), while avoidance was associated with increased anxiety (r=.29, P<.04). In addition, caregivers who reported greater perceived caregiver burden experienced higher levels of depression (r=.45, P<.001) and anxiety (r=.43, P<.01). Moreover, the social functioning of caregivers of lung transplant patients was more than one standard deviation from a normative sample of the population (Cohen's d=1.16), indicating that caregivers of transplant patients experienced greater impairment in this area. Discussion: Although most caregivers of transplant patients do not report significant impairment in functioning, assessing caregivers' coping strategies and caregiving burden may identify those caregivers who experience increased emotional distress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Anxiety
  • Caregiver Burden
  • Caregivers
  • Coping
  • Depression
  • Lung transplantation
  • Quality of Life


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