The outcomes of heart transplantation: A qualitative study

Document Type : Original Article


Background: Heart transplantation has heartened many patients who suffer from end-stage heart diseases. Nonetheless, it is associated with many different outcomes which vary according to the immediate context.
Objectives: This study aimed to exploring the outcomes of heart transplantation in a sample of Iranian patients.
Methods: This qualitative study was done in 2014–2016 by using Graneheim and Lundman's approach to qualitative content analysis. A purposeful sample of heart recipients was recruited with maximum variation from hospitals of Tehran, Iran. Data were collected by semi-structured interviews. Data collection was continued until the categories were saturated. In total, seventeen interviews were done with fifteen heart recipients.
Results: The main theme of the study was “Living under the perfect storm of problems.” The four main categories of this main theme were financial distress (with the subcategories of the shadow of financial strain on life, the inefficiency of financial support systems, struggle for managing the expenses), living with the consequences (with the subcategories of physical crisis, inability to perform roles, psychological problems), greater commitment to one's own health (with the subcategories of accepting responsibility for health, moving from ignorance to search for information), and tendency to spirituality (with the subcategories of reinforcement of religious beliefs and values, and gratefulness to the donors).
Conclusion: During the posttransplantation period, heart recipients encounter difficult conditions, and so, they need to receive stronger support from healthcare organization and authorities. Besides, transplantation-associated financial problems make coping with transplantation more difficult, and hence, appropriate measures are needed to alleviate their financial problems.