Quality of Life in Hand Transplant Patients

  • Danièle Bachmann


The concept of quality of life is above all a subjective notion, even if it can be made objective using general or dependence scales such as those used in physical therapy. It is also possible to evaluate quality of life before hand transplantation using psychological interviews in order to identify and discuss important issues with the future recipient. The issues involved in hand transplantation are nonetheless quite different from those concerning internal organs: the hands are a part of the body that is always visible to the transplant patient; the hand (sor hands) of a cadaver at the end of the recipient’s arm is permanent evidence of the presence of another person, of a “stranger”; the recipient only recovers use of the hand(s) after several months, according to the progress he made during reeducation and the regeneration of the nerves; and finally, the hands are important on both a narcissistic and a relational level. Moreover, hand transplantation is not really essential for the survival of the patient though, as we shall see, it might seem to be in the minds of certain patients.


Psychological Interview Family Circle Hand Transplantation Mourn Process Mine Clearer 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danièle Bachmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryÉdouard Herriot HospitalLyonFrance

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