The psychological aspects of transplantation were studied in 29 children and adolescents with functioning renal transplants. Most parents rated their child's physical health as considerably improved after transplantation. They also noted improvements in the child's behaviour and in the quality of family life. When compared with a sample of children being treated by hospital haemodialysis, children who had received transplants had more favourable parental views of behavioural and emotional adjustment, better parental psychiatric adjustment, and indications of superior child rated mood, self concept, and social functioning. Children who had received transplants did, however, show an increase in minor behavioural symptoms compared with healthy controls, and most parents required continuing psychological and social support as well as attention to physical aspects of the child's condition. Kidney transplantation is associated with improved psychosocial behaviour in children, but there is a continuing need for support for parents in dealing with minor psychological problems after the transplant.
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