Quality of life and lifetime achievement in adult survivors of pediatric heart transplant.
Background: Survival in pediatric heart transplantation has improved since the first successful transplant over 35 years ago leading to increasing numbers of patients entering adulthood. We sought to examine quality of life and various lifetime achievements in our institutional population of long-term adult survivors of pediatric heart transplant.
Methods: Participants ≥18 years of age who received a heart transplant as a pediatric patient (<18 years old), and who have survived ≥10 years post-transplant, completed two self-report surveys: (1) Ferrans and Powers QLI cardiac version which reports a measure of life satisfaction with a range of 0 (very dissatisfied) to 1 (very satisfied); and (2) CHONY Pediatric Heart Transplant Life Achievement Survey to examine lifetime achievement.
Results: Sixty-two and sixty-five participants completed the Ferrans and Powers QLI cardiac version and CHONY Pediatric Heart Transplant Life Achievement Survey. The mean overall QLI was 0.75 ± 0.14 with the most satisfaction in the family domain. QLI scores were analyzed by age at initial transplant, gender, indication for transplant, and whether patients currently followed by pediatric or adult providers, with no statistically significant differences noted. Seventy-two percent of participants demonstrated stable employment or schooling. Around thirty percent of participants showed the ability to reach academic milestones including college and post-graduate education and ten percent to start their own families.
Conclusions: Our cohort of long-term adult survivors of pediatric heart transplant report a quality of life with scores thought to be reflective of a satisfactory quality of life, and many demonstrate achievement of major life milestones.