Examining the association of medical complications and posttraumatic stress symptoms in pediatric solid organ transplant patients and their caregivers

Saba S. Masood, Kelli N. Triplett, Michael Killian, Gillian S. Mayersohn, Dev M. Desai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) have been reported by pediatric solid organ transplant (SOT) patients and their caregivers well after transplantation. This study examined the relationship between PTSS, medication adherence, and medical complications in SOT patients and their caregivers. A secondary aim examined the association between patient and caregiver-reported PTSS. Methods: Pediatric SOT patients (N = 69) and caregivers (N = 73) reported on PTSS by completing the Child PTSD Symptom Scale (patients 8–17 years) or the Impact of Events Scale—Revised (patients 18 years and older and caregivers). Patient medication adherence was assessed using the Medication Level Variability Index (MLVI). Patients were dichotomized as experiencing a post-transplant medical complication (ie, transplant-related hospital admission prior to the year completing measures of PTSS) or no complications. Results: Medication adherence was not significantly associated with patient or caregiver PTSS. A moderate effect size was found for elevated young adult and caregiver PTSS and the presence of a medical complication. Generally, the association between self-reported patient and caregiver PTSS was low. Conclusions: The presence of elevated PTSS in young adult patients may be partially explained by the presence of proximal medical complications and more so by comorbid psychiatric diagnoses in child and adolescent patients (based on exploratory analyses). Caregivers of patients with medical complications within the past year reported higher levels of PTSS. Overall, transplantation and its associated impact on PTSS may be unique experience for patients versus caregivers. Qualitative research may further elucidate these experiences and inform future clinical interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatric Transplantation
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • complications
  • nonadherence
  • organ transplantation
  • post-traumatic stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Transplantation

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