Researchers from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., have found patients awaiting lung transplant often suffer from stress, anxiety, or depressive symptoms, and these symptoms are not isolated to patients with pre-existing psychiatric diagnoses. Pre-existing psychiatric diagnoses have been investigated previous to lung transplant. Little is known about the prevalence and burden of active depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms pretransplant.
The retrospective review of patients undergoing lung transplant from 2000-2013 at Mayo Clinic found 42 percent of patients reported depression-related emotional symptoms, and 52 percent had depression-related physical symptoms. Just 17.6 percent of these patients reported a prior diagnosis of depression.
“Our study has uncovered a need for interventions aimed at reducing stress, supporting emotional health, reducing anxiety–regardless of a patient’s psychiatric history,” said Dr. Abhar Vakil, Mayo Clinic physician and lead researcher. “Our study also highlights that depression-related physical symptoms experienced by patients awaiting lung transplant may be difficult to separate from chronic illness.”