Psychosocial assessment prior to pediatric transplantation: A review and summary of key considerations

Rachel A. Annunziato, Mina K. Fisher, Bradley Jerson, Anna Bochkanova, Richard J. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Prior to listing for transplantation, patients participate in a comprehensive, multidisciplinary evaluation. One component of this process, incorporated by the vast majority of transplant centers, is a psychosocial assessment conducted by a mental health professional. The primary objectives of a pre-transplant psychosocial assessment are to identify risk factors for difficulty adjusting post-transplant as well as behaviors that may compromise transplantation outcomes. This paper aims to provide a summary of key considerations for pediatric transplant teams describing what this assessment might include, when it should be performed, training requirements for the evaluators, how results of the evaluation might best be utilized and suggestions for optimal patient preparation. Our findings suggest that the evaluation, which can be conducted by a variety of professionals, should include assessment of patient knowledge and motivation for transplant, mental health and substance abuse history, presence or absence of family and social support, availability of financial resources, past history of treatment adherence, and the quality of the family's relationship with the transplant team. Repeat assessments and utilizing the initial evaluation for outcome assessment should be considered. Finally, the evaluation offers a unique opportunity for better preparing patients and families for transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-574
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • outcome
  • pediatric transplantation
  • psychosocial assessment


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