Life Satisfaction and School Performance after Liver Transplantation in Children

Background and Aim: Liver Transplantation (LT) is a procedure that can save and prolong the life of children with end stage liver disease. These patients need prolong follow up, may develop complications and thus need recurrent hospital admissions. These can affect their psychosocial functioning. The aim of this study is to evaluate the life satisfaction and school performance of children who underwent LT.Materials and Methods: We prospectively assessed the life satisfaction and school performance in 48 pediatric patients who underwent LT between 2004 and 2008 at Organ Transplantation Center affiliated to Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. The data was collected using a standard questionnaire filled by the patients or their parents.Results: In this study we evaluated 48 children that consisted of 30 boys (62.5%) and 18 girls (37.5%) with a mean age of 9.3 years (range: 1-18 years old) and a mean duration of follow up of 11.8 months (range: 12-48 months). Out of 25 children who were at school age, 85% went to the school and had good school performance; 64.6% of the patients believed that they will have a normal life in future and can get married. Also 68.7% of the cases had normal playing activity with their peers in the same age group.Conclusion: The goal of LT is not only to ensure survival, but also offer patients the sort of healthy life they enjoyed before the disease, achieving a good balance between the functional efficacy of the graft and the patient's psychological and physical integrity.