[en] anxiety ; depression ; general health ; heart transplantation ; psychopathology
[en] Orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT) is a major surgical intervention inducing distress and anxiety. Psychological problems after OHT have been described in many studies. Little is known, however, about the relationship between the psychological state of the patient and time after surgery. The present study involved 41 consecutive OHT patients that underwent transplantation from January 1991 to December 1992, with a retrospective review of pretransplant psychiatric evaluations to define a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd edn., revised (DSM III-R) Axis I diagnosis. Patients completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-13), Spielberger's State Trait-Anxiety Inventory (STAI-Y), and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) between 1 and 41 months after transplantation. For comparison, 29 presumably healthy volunteers were given the same questionnaires. The study confirms the occurrence of abnormal psychological scores in the OHT group as compared to the reference population. Psychological scores, however, do not appear to be related to the time they were recorded after surgery.