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The Psychological Impact of Transplantation

Fri, 07/24/2009

The presenter, Cynthia Gries, MD, MSc is an Assistant Professor, in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center.  Her main area of research interest surrounds building a research program that focuses on improving long-term outcomes in lung transplant patients. She is currently conducting a longitudinal study to evaluate the burden of psychological disease and its effects on medical adherence. She is also focused on improving long-term outcomes by improving the selection criteria for lung allocation. Dr. Gries presented her findings that showed that the burden of depressive and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms was associated with lower medical adherence.  In addition, she presented some preliminary data that suggested that the prevalence of PTSD and depression was high in lung transplant caregivers and may be associated with the quality of the dying process.  After the presentation was finished, Dr. Gries’ thoughtful comments on ethical issues related to donation after cardiac determination of death sparked vibrant discussion among those in attendance.