The Utility of a Pre-Transplant Psychosocial Evaluation in Predicting Post-Liver Transplant Outcomes

Jacqueline H. Becker, Eyal Shemesh, Akhil Shenoy, Ailie Posillico, Christopher S. Knight, Se Kang Kim, Sander S. Florman, Thomas Schiano, Rachel A. Annunziato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: There is insufficient evidence about the ability of pretransplant psychosocial evaluations to predict posttransplant outcomes. While standardized assessments were developed to increase predictive validity, it is unclear whether the risk scores they yield predict outcomes. We investigated if the Stanford Integrated Psychosocial Assessment for Transplantation (SIPAT), a scaling approach to those assessments, would have been a superior predictor than the standard psychosocial evaluation. Methods: In this retrospective study, medical records of 182 adult liver transplant recipients who were at least 1 year posttransplant and prescribed tacrolimus for immunosuppression were analyzed. Regression analyses predicted outcomes of interest, including immunosuppressant nonadherence and biopsy-proven rejection, obtained 1-year posttransplant to time of data collection. Nonadherence was determined using the medication level variability index (MLVI). Results: Approximately 49% of patients had MLVI > 2.5, suggestive of nonadherence, and 15% experienced rejection. SIPAT total score did not predict adherence either using the continuous (P =.70), or dichotimized score, above or below > 2.5 (P =.14), or rejection (P = 0.87). Using a SIPAT threshold (total score > 69) did not predict adherence (p =.16) nor was a superior predictor of the continuous adherence score (P =.45), MLVI > 2.5 (P =.42), or rejection (P = 0.49), than the standard evaluation. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the SIPAT is unable to predict 2 of the most important outcomes in this population, immunosuppressant adherence and rejection. Research efforts should attempt to evaluate the best manner to use psychosocial evaluations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-12
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • liver transplantation
  • nonadherence
  • psychosocial assessment
  • psychosocial risk
  • transplant evaluation
  • transplant outcomes


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