Psychosocial Risk Predicts New Episode Depression After Heart Transplant

Terry D. Schneekloth, Mario J. Hitschfeld, Sheila G. Jowsey-Gregoire, Tanya M. Petterson, Shannon M. Dunlay, Shehzad K. Niazi, Adriana R. Vasquez, Teresa A. Rummans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Psychosocial assessment is an essential component of the pretransplant evaluation. Many individuals have significant psychosocial problems, and they are either denied for transplantation or deferred from listing and transplant until the psychosocial issues are addressed. Objective: The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of patients who initially had significant psychosocial problems, but who addressed them and received a heart transplant. Methods: This retrospective study included heart transplant recipients from 1/1/2000 to 12/31/2012. Those with initial Psychosocial Assessment of Candidates for Transplantation (PACT) scale score <2 were compared with those whose initial score was ≥2 for the variables new onset depression and anxiety, length of stay, rejection, and survival using logistic and linear regression and Cox proportional hazards modeling. Results: Of 164 heart recipients with pretransplant PACT scores, 46 (28%) were female, 154 (94%) were white, and the mean age was 52.7 years. Only 11 (7%) received an initial PACT score <2; these candidates underwent heart transplantation after their scores increased to ≥2. Initial PACT <2 increased the odds of new depression by 11-fold (p = 0.002), but was not associated with differences in survival, posttransplant length of stay, the occurrence of treated episodes of rejection or new anxiety (p ≥ 0.20 for all). Conclusion: Among heart recipients, initially high pretransplant psychosocial risk, as assessed by PACT, was associated with posttransplant new episode depression. However, after addressing the primary psychosocial issues before transplant, posttransplant length of stay, organ rejection, and survival were the same as those without prior psychosocial concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Depression
  • Heart transplantation
  • Outcome assessment
  • Psychosocial assessment
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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