Identity and adjustment: experiences of the organ transplant recipient

PhD Thesis

Falk, R. 2015. Identity and adjustment: experiences of the organ transplant recipient. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
AuthorsFalk, R.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDClinPsychol

Positive health-related behaviour is particularly important for liver transplant recipients’ (LTRs) recovery. However, non-adherence in adolescents post-transplant is thought to be greater than, or equal to, 50%. Literature searches have found limited research into the area of young adults’ experiences of having a donated liver. Knowing more of their experience seems important to help inform practice to improve adherence and ultimately save lives.
The present study aimed to construct a grounded theory of young adults’ experiences of having a liver transplant, in order to better understand how young adults may adjust following such experiences.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve liver transplant recipients (LTRs; five female, seven male). Data were analysed using constructivist grounded theory.
A model was constructed to capture the dynamic interactions between thirteen categories, resulting in four main themes: Finding Identity Post-Transplant, Carrying Responsibility, Unseen, Unspoken or Misunderstood Challenges and Adjusting to Life After Transplant.
The study highlights the importance of the themes in psychological adjustment post-transplant. Understanding this process is imperative in order to improve health-related behaviours in a cohort with traditionally poor adherence. Implications for further research and clinical practice are discussed, including educating LTRs to raise their levels of self-efficacy, which have a positive impact on adherence.

KeywordsLiver Transplant, Young Adult, Adjustment, Adherence, Identity
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Publication process dates
Deposited25 Nov 2015
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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