Psychological effects of liver disease and transplantation

K. Mastroyannopoulou, I. Sclare, A. Baker, A. P. Mowat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Psychological adjustment in children with liver disease was investigated. Three groups of children 6-15 years old participated: ten had undergone a liver transplant (Gp1), 15 had ongoing chronic liver disease (Gp2) and 15 were healthy controls (Gp3). Children who had had a transplant appeared well adjusted and thought of themselves as healthy rather than ill, although areas of vulnerability were present, for example increased anxiety. No differences emerged in terms of coping with common or illness-related problems or understanding of the causes of illness and use of medication Gps 1 and 2 showed higher levels of understanding of the functions of the liver but less understanding of illness prevention when compared to their healthy peers. Gp2 experienced less control over their health when compared to the other two groups. Gp1 rated themselves as more 'healthy' than Gp2 but less so than Gp3. Conclusion: Children with chronic liver disease are able to communicate how they deal with the stresses of the condition. Though well adjusted in many ways, those who have had a transplant still show areas of psychological vulnerability which need to be addressed in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)856-860
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Coping strategies
  • Liver transplantation
  • Psychological adjustment
  • Quality of life

Cite this