Adherence, patient satisfaction, and mental health among organ transplant patients during the COVID-19 pandemic
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The COVID-19 pandemic upended the physical and mental health of millions around the globe. Organ transplant patients are physically and psychologically vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic due to their frequent morbidities, required immunosuppressant medication, and high prevalence rate of psychopathology. Previous research has shown that poor mental health affects treatment adherence and patient satisfaction in transplant patients, which can result in negative health outcomes as severe as organ rejection and death. In the current study, 99 organ transplant patients were recruited through social media sites to complete a survey on their mental health status (depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress symptomology, etc.), treatment adherence, and patient satisfaction. Mental health was found to be poor in this sample, as 30% were classified as having a mental health disorder. However, adherence and patient satisfaction was generally high during the pandemic. Notably, patients with a mental health disorder had significantly lower treatment adherence, but the same was not observed for patient satisfaction. Nonadherent transplant patients had greater pandemic-related concern and were less resilient than adherent patients. Although mental health was suboptimal, adherence and patient satisfaction levels did not indicate an insidious trend during the pandemic. This may, in part, be due to the use of telemedicine. Future research should further explore predictive factors of poor adherence, patient satisfaction, and mental health during the pandemic to identify potentially vulnerable patients.