Transplant patients' representations of their illness, body, and emotional state significantly influence their recovery. In this study, our primary aim was to examine the possible connections between emotional factors, body and illness representations, and renal function after 58 kidney transplantations. To measure mental representations of transplanted kidneys, we developed a projective drawing test. Other assessment instruments were the Beck Depression Inventory, Spielberger's State and Trait Anxiety Scale, and an in-house questionnaire. We also measured conventional kidney function markers, such as serum creatinine and urea levels. Analysis of our results revealed that patients with higher anxiety levels drew significantly larger kidneys in their projective drawing tests, and displayed significantly higher 10-day creatinine and urea level leading us to consider interrelations of an organ's intrapsychic integration and kidney function. If the graft is not integrated mentally in the body image, the representations of the "foreign body" can be associated with such psycho-neuro-immunologic processes of anxiety, which eventually may lead to adverse physiological effects on kidney function.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 1 2012|
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