Long-term health status and quality of life outcomes of lung transplant recipients

Cynthia R Gross, K. Savik, R. M. Bolman, M. I. Hertz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


Study objective: Health status and quality of life (QOL) in lung transplant candidates and recipients were compared to determine the impact of transplantation, and whether recipients experience continued improvements in the years after transplant surgery. Design: Two patient groups, adult lung transplant candidates (n=44) and adult lung transplant recipients (n=54), completed self-report QOL questionnaires. Eighteen of the 54 recipients completed QOL questionnaires on two occasions, about 18 months apart, after lung transplant. The questionnaire included the Medical Outcome Study Health Survey (MOS 20) that assesses six dimensions of health-related QOL: physical, role and social function, mental health, health perceptions and bodily pain, as well as a self-report Karnofsky Index and other indicators of QOL. Setting: University medical center transplant service. Results: Compared with candidates, recipients reported higher levels of happiness and more satisfaction with their life and their health. They also reported better function on the Karnofsky Index and in every MOS 20 dimension (p<0.0001), except pain. No significant differences were found in comparisons among recipients, grouped by the time since their transplant. Eighteen recipients completed two QOL questionnaires after transplant. No significant differences were found between the earlier (median, 11 months) and later (median, 29 months) QOL responses for this group overall. However, recipients (n=5) who developed obliterative bronchiolitis between assessments showed decrements in their health-related QOL. Dimensions particularly affected were physical and social functioning and bodily pain. Conclusions: Dramatic improvements in health status and QOL occur after successful lung transplant and remain stable over time. Obliterative bronchiolitis results in notable QOL reductions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1587-1593
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • health status
  • lung transplantation
  • obliterative bronchiolitis
  • quality of life


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