Relationship between psychiatric disorders and physical status during the course of a heart transplantation program: a prospective, longitudinal study.
ABSTRACT Evidence of a lack of relationship between psychiatric disorders and physical status during a heart transplantation (HT) program would configure mental well-being as an independent endpoint deserving specific interventions.
We report a prospective, longitudinal study on patients (n=127) undergoing HT in order to investigate the relationship between psychiatric disorders and physical status.
At pre-HT evaluation, at least one psychiatric disorder according to the DSM-IV diagnoses was present in 27 patients (21%); the prevalence of psychiatric disorders was not related (p > or = 0.150) to physical status (assessed by clinical, electrocardiographic, echocardiographic, and hemodynamic parameters). At post-HT evaluation 1 year after HT, all clinical-instrumental parameters significantly improved (p < or = 0.016), but not the prevalence of psychiatric disorders, which were diagnosed in 34 patients (p = 0.016 vs pre-HT).
During the HT program, no significant relationship exists between physical status and prevalence of psychiatric disorders, which increases after the operation. This finding indicates the need for the mandatory provision of adequate psychological support during all of the phases of the HT experience.