J Korean Biol Nurs Sci.  2019 Nov;21(4):249-258. 10.7586/jkbns.2019.21.4.249.

Psychosocial Assessment and Related Factors for Kidney Transplantation Candidates in South Korea: A Descriptive Correlational Study

  • 1College of Nursing, The University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. chonghyejin@gmail.com


The purpose of this study was to assess the psychosocial status of candidates for deceased donor kidney transplantation (DDKT) in South Korea and identify factors associated with high-risk psychosocial status.
The descriptive cross-sectional design included application of a standardized transplantation-specific assessment tool, the Psychosocial Assessment Candidacy Transplantation (PACT) instrument, and review of candidates' medical records. A total of 157 patients awaiting DDKT were recruited from a Korean organ transplantation center. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression. Candidates were divided into high- and low-psychosocial risk groups using 3 as the cutoff point of PACT.
The mean score for the PACT final rating was 2.10, and the lowest average subscale score was 2.30 for understanding the processes of transplantation and follow up. Poor physical candidacy, especially due to comorbidities, and older age were associated with high psychosocial risk.
The results of this study showed that the psychosocial status of Korean DDKT candidates was problematic. Development of systematic management programs for effective clinical strategies in the care of candidates is crucial to maintain their desirable psychosocial status in case of an emergency DDKT operation and improve post-transplantation outcomes. Continuous education is absolutely necessary to enhance understanding of the transplantation process for high-risk psychosocial candidates. Additionally, nurses and transplantation professionals should screen candidates with high-risk psychosocial status early in the process using transplantation-specific assessment tools and provide intensive interventions, particularly for poor physical candidacy patients and older candidates.


Kidney transplantation; Waiting lists; Psychology; Nursing assessments
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