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Social support has many benefits for patients undergoing organ transplantation, though inclusion of it as criteria for transplant listing has been debated. This review highlights recent developments in the research regarding social support and organ transplantation, including the impact of social support on transplantation and caregivers, interventions, COVID-19, and ethical perspectives. Social support and perceived social support have benefits for transplant patients, including increased quality of life and adherence. The providers of social support may also be impacted and the impact may vary based on patient and caregiver characteristics, including organ group and caregiver ethnicity. Debates regarding COVID-19 vaccine requirements for caregivers and ethical concerns about the inclusion of social support as criteria for transplant listing are also explored. Transplant patients benefit from social support, though additional research is needed on the impact of social support on transplant outcomes and the utility of the use of social support as criteria for transplant listing. There is also a need for more robust research on diverse caregiver populations, including the identification and use of supportive interventions for caregivers. Copyright © 2022 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Heather Bruschwein, Gloria Chen, Joanna Yost. Social support and transplantation. Current opinion in organ transplantation. 2022 Dec 01;27(6):508-513

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PMID: 36103142

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