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Psychological distress among caregivers to heart transplant recipients


  • Canning, Robert D.
  • Dew, Mary Amanda
  • Davidson, Suzanne


To test the hypothesis that family caregivers to heart transplant recipients may experience higher than average levels of distress during the period post-transplant and explore the correlates of distress, 83 caregivers were interviewed 3 times during the first year post-transplant and evaluated on predisposing and psychosocial characteristics. Mean distress was significantly elevated above community norms at initial assessment but subsided as the year progressed. Multiple regression analyses showed that: (a) employment status and caregivers' physical health were strong predictors of post-transplant distress while psychiatric history was not; (b) the burden of caregiving was associated with increased distress early post-transplant but not in later months; and (c) intrapersonal and social support resources early post-transplant were associated with distress both short-term and long-term. Interventions targeted at these environmental and personal factors may be important for minimizing negative effects of the transplant experience on family caregivers.

Suggested Citation

  • Canning, Robert D. & Dew, Mary Amanda & Davidson, Suzanne, 1996. "Psychological distress among caregivers to heart transplant recipients," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 599-608, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:42:y:1996:i:4:p:599-608

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    Cited by:

    1. Hirst, Michael, 2005. "Carer distress: A prospective, population-based study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 697-708, August.


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