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How patients manage life and health while waiting for a liver transplant

, : How patients manage life and health while waiting for a liver transplant. Progress in Transplantation 13(1): 47-60

Liver transplantation offers a lifesaving treatment for individuals with terminal disease. An extended waiting period may contribute to anxiety and undermine overall health status, jeopardizing the patient's opportunity for successful transplantation. The purpose of this grounded theory qualitative study was to discover how individuals experience life and health resources during the wait for a liver transplant. In-depth interviews, conducted with 12 adults who had awaited liver transplantation for more than a year, were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using grounded theory methods. The findings portrayed the transplant waiting period to be a process of experiencing confinement, disciplining the self, and ultimately letting go and surrendering one's self to accept available, accessible, and appropriate resources for health. Resources for life and health used by the participants included: following instructions, presenting self positively, seeking information and support, controlling symptoms, using distraction and denial, changing attitudes, setting and achieving new goals, isolating oneself and entrusting oneself to another. The findings suggest the importance of increasing supportive, health-oriented care aimed at promoting resources for everyday living and health during the transplant waiting period.


PMID: 12688650

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