Health-related quality of life outcomes of pancreas transplant recipients

C. R. Gross, C. L. Zehrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The health status and quality of life outcomes of 131 patients who were 1 to 11 years post-pancreas transplant were studied. Patients were compared based on the current status of their pancreas graft, i.e. whether or not their grafts were successful in maintaining an insulin-independent state, and according to recipient category (pancreas alone vs kidney and pancreas). For this study, quality of life was defined as patients' perceptions of their well-being and ability to function in six areas: physical and mental health, social functioning, role (work and home) functioning, overall health perceptions, and physical pain. Patient self-report questions from the Medical Outcome Study were used to provide a score scaled from 0 to 100, for each area. Health status was assessed by sick days, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits. Patients with a successful pancreas graft (N = 65) reported significantly more positive health perceptions (51.9 vs 28.9), less pain (33.9 vs 45.3), and greater ability to function socially (84.9 vs 71.3) than did patients whose pancreas grafts were not successful. In addition, patients with successful pancreas grafts rated their ability to perform routine activities as nearer to normal on the Karnofsky Index (2.82 vs 3.63) and were more likely to view themselves as healthier since the pancreas transplant than were patients whose pancreas grafts were not successful. These effects persisted after statistical adjustment for recipient category and case-mix factors of age, sex, education, and length of time since pancreas transplant. While it is possible that a failed pancreas transplant may adversely effect quality of life, the willingness of so many patients to repeat the procedure and patient perceptions of improved health since transplant support the conclusion that much of the reported differences can be attributed to benefits of pancreas transplant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-171
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number3 I
StatePublished - 1992


  • Health perceptions
  • Pancreas transplant
  • Quality of life


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