Kidney transplant recipients suffer from a variety of symptoms, and symptom management is crucial in improving their quality of life (QOL). Accordingly, this study aims to identify the symptoms experienced by kidney transplant recipients and examine the relationship amongst antecedents, symptom experience and QOL of recipients in China.
A total of 300 kidney transplant recipients were investigated in one of the most first-rate hospitals in China by asking them to fill out a self-designed general questionnaire, the Symptom Experience Scale, the Sense of Coherence Scale (Chinese version), the Revised Life Orientation Test (Chinese version) and the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (Chinese version).
Kidney transplant recipients experienced multiple symptoms that were frequent, severe and bothersome. The final model showed significant consistency with the data. In the QOL model, post-transplant time, complications, immunosuppressive agents and sense of coherence explained 30.7% of the variance of symptom experience. Moreover, habitual residence, economic burden, post-transplant time, kidney function, optimism and symptom experience accounted for 70.6% of the variance on QOL.
We can explain the relationship between antecedents, symptom experience and QOL amongst Chinese kidney transplant recipients by using Symptoms Experience Model. Clinicians and caregivers can manage the recipient’s symptoms during follow-up from psychological, physical and medication management perspectives. Improving sense of coherence, maintaining optimism and managing symptoms are essential for enhancing QOL.