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A Provider Perspective of Psychosocial Predictors of Upper-Extremity Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation Success

      Purpose

      We performed a qualitative study to understand the psychosocial factors associated with success in upper-extremity vascularized composite allotransplantation from the perspective of transplant providers.

      Methods

      We recruited 13 providers actively involved in upper-extremity vascularized composite allotransplantation. Participants included physicians, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, and research administrators. We conducted semistructured face-to-face focus group interviews using a guide that explored providers’ perceptions of qualities contributing to transplant outcome. Topics included social support networks and their influence on recovery, barriers to treatment compliance and successful posttransplant rehabilitation, and the process of setting patients’ expectations. We performed a thematic analysis that produced a list of themes, subthemes, and proposed hypotheses explaining how the themes related to the study’s guiding questions.

      Results

      The analysis identified numerous factors that contribute to transplant success: (1) recipients’ prior experiences modify their ability to cope and adapt after transplantation, (2) behaviors and characteristics such as positivity influence candidacy and may be predictive of successful outcomes, and (3) social support is essential for improved function and compliance. The provider care team cited difficulty in predicting recipient compliance and in setting realistic expectations.

      Conclusions

      Motivated recipients with developed coping and resiliency, a positive attitude, and stable, physically-able caregivers are perceived by providers to have greater success after transplantation.

      Clinical Relevance

      Findings from this work may help providers determine optimal candidates for upper-extremity vascularized composite allotransplantation.

      Key words

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