Patients benefit--partners suffer? The impact of heart transplantation on the partner relationship

Bunzel, B; Laederach-Hofmann, K; Schubert, MT (1999). Patients benefit--partners suffer? The impact of heart transplantation on the partner relationship. Transplant international, 12(1), pp. 33-41. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell 10.1007/s001470050182

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Terminal heart disease affects not only the patient, but also members of the patient's family, and especially the spouse. The aim of this prospective study of 26 couples was to collect information about the impact of heart transplantation on the partner relationship. Data were collected from patients and spouses when the patients were placed on the waiting list for transplantation, 1 year postoperatively, and 5 years postoperatively. The Family Assessment Measure (FAM III), a self-report instrument that provides quantitative indices of family functioning on seven interacting dimensions, was used. In the course of the transplant process, both patients and spouses reported a significant deterioration in the partner relationship in general. While patients perceived only one clear-cut point of conflict communication about emotions - as crucial, the spouses reported a significant worsening in role performance, communication, emotional involvement, and values and norms. These changes were discernible 1 year after transplantation and persisted for at least 5 years. We conclude that heart transplantation has a significant negative impact on the partner relationship 1-5 years after transplantation. Consequently, more attention should be paid to all aspects of the partner relationship in a holistic approach to the treatment of heart transplant recipients and their partners.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Clinical Nutrition

UniBE Contributor:

Laederach, Kurt










Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:02

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:19

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URI: (FactScience: 87004)

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