Exploring the experience of returning to society in heart transplant receipts

Szu Ying Lee, Ling Chun Lu, Heng Hsin Tung*, Ching Wen Wei, Yi Chen Wu, Shu Yuan Liang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background/Purpose: Heart transplant is an effective solution for patients with end-stage heart failure. Many studies have addressed the outcomes, survival rate and complications associated with heart transplant recipients. Insufficient information is available about subjective experiences among heart failure patients undergoing the heart transplant process. This study aimed to address the lack of insight into patients’ feelings. To understand and gain deeper insight into the life experiences of heart transplant recipients in Taiwan. Methods: A qualitative study of ten Taiwanese patients who had undergone a heart transplant within the past five years. The patients participated in comprehensive, semi-structured interviews based on a phenomenological approach. Results: The patients, ranging in age from 40 to 68 years, participated in comprehensive interviews. Three themes emerged from twelve subthemes, describing the meaning of living with a heart transplant. These themes include having: 1). changes and expectations after rebirth; 2). physical and psychological self-management; and 3). difficulties returning to normal life. Conclusion: The new findings identified various physical and psychological issues that patients might not freely express to a clinician due to the Eastern cultural customs and traditions. The results will assist healthcare providers with interventions for heart transplant patients’ health care and enhance their quality of care based on patient perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalAging Medicine and Healthcare
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Heart transplant
  • Life experience
  • Qualitative
  • Society


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