Does changing the heart mean changing personality? A retrospective inquiry on 47 heart transplant patients
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Heart transplantation is not simply a question of replacing an organ that no longer functions. The heart is often seen as source of love, emotions, and focus of personality traits. To gain insight into the problem of whether transplant patients themselves feel a change in personality after having received a donor heart, 47 patients who were transplanted over a period of 2 years in Vienna, Austria, were asked for an interview. Three groups of patients could be identified: 79% stated that their personality had not changed at all postoperatively. In this group, patients showed masslve defense and denial reactions, mainly by rapidly changing the subject or making the question ridiculous. Fifteen per cent stated that their personality had indeed changed, but not because of the donor organ, but due to the life-threatening event. Six per cent (three patients) reported a distinct change of personality due to their new hearts. These incorporation fantasies forced them to change feelings and reactions and accept those of the donor. Verbatim statements of these heart transplant recipients show that there seem to be severe problems regarding graft incorporation, which are based on the age-old idea of the heart as a centre that houses feelings and forms the personality.
- GaudianiVA, StinsonEB, AldermanE, et al. Long-term survival and function after cardiac trans-plantation. Ann Surg 1982; 194(4): 381–385.
- LoughME, LindsayAM, ShinnJA, StottsNA. Life satisfaction following heart transplantation. J Heart Transplant 1985; 4(4): 446–449.
- ÓBrienBJ, BuxtonMJ, FergusonBA. Measuring the effectiveness of heart transplant programmes: Quality of life data and their relationship to survival analysis. J Chron Dis 1987; 1: 137–153.
- SamuelssonRG, HuntSA, SchroederJS. Functional and social rehabilitation of heart transplant recipients under age thirty. Scand J Cardiovasc Surg 1984; 18: 97–103.
- GriffithBP, HardesbyRL, ThompsonME. Cardiac transplantation with cyclosporine: The Pittsburgh experience. J Heart Transplant 1983; 2: 251–155.
- KriettJN, KayeMP. The Registry of the International society for the heart and lung transplantation: seventh official report — 1991. J Heart & Lung Transplant 1991; 18(4): 491–498.
- LauferG, MiholicJ, LaczkovicsA, et al. Independent risk factors predicting acute graft rejection in cardiac transplant recipients treated by triple drug immunosuppression. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1989; 98: 1113–1121.
- RauchJB, KneenKK. Accepting the gift of life: heart transplant recipients' post-operative adaptive tasks. Soc Work Health Care 1989; 14(1): 47–59.
- ShapiroPA. Life after heart transplantation. Progr Cardiovasc Dis 1990; 32(6): 405–418.
- MeserveHC. The matter of the heart. J Relig Health 1984; 23: 263–267.
- NorvellN, ContiCR, HackerH. Heart transplantation candidates: Psychological evaluation. Prim Cardiol 1987; 13: 20–26.
- Castelnuovo-TedescoP. Ego vicissitudes in response to replacement of body parts. Psychoanal Quarterly 1978; 47: 381–397.
- KraftIA. Psychiatric complications of cardiac transplantation. Semin Psychiatry 1971; 3: 89–97.
- FriersonRL, LippmannSB. Heart transplant patients rejected on psychiatric indications. Psychosomatics 1987; 28(7): 347–355.
- TablerJB, FriersonRL. Sexual concerns after heart transplantation. J Heart & Lung Transplant 1990; 9(4): 7–493.
- Das Neue Blatt. 1986, 51: 10.
- Quick. Transplantation: Für immer herzlich verbunden. Heft 22, May 1988: 100–101.
- Wiener Kurier. 18. Nov. 1989: 4.
- Medawar Sir Peter; at the Second International Congress of the Transplantation Society, 1968, New York City. Reference: Firth BG. Southwestern International Medicine Conference: Replacement of the failing heart. Am J Med Sci 1987; 1: 50–65.
- KuhnWF, MyersB, BrennanAF, et al. Psychopathology in heart transplant candidates. J Heart Transplant 1988; 7: 223–226.
- Rodgers J. Life in the cutting edge. Psychology Today 1984. Oct.: 58-6.
- McAleerMJ, CopelandJ, FullerJ, CopelandJG. Psychological aspects of heart transplantation. J Heart Transplant 1985; 4(2): 232–233.
- MaiFM. Graft and donor denial in heart transplant recipients. Am J Psychiatry 1986; 143: 1159–1161.
- FreemanAM, SokolMA, FolksDG, McVayRF, McGriffinAF, FahsJJ. Psychiatric characteristics of patients undergoing cardiac transplantation. Psychiatr Med 1988; 6(2): 8–22.
- ShapiroPA, KornfeldDS. Psychiatric outcome of heart transplantation. Gen Hosp Psychiatr 1989; 11: 352–357.
- HackettT, CassemN. Development of a quantitative rating scale to assess denial. J Psychosom Res 1974; 18: 93–100.
- HaanN. Coping and Defending — Processes of selfenvironment organization. New York: Academic Press, 1977.
- CardinS, ClarkS. A nursing diagnosis approach to the patient awaiting cardiac transplantation. Heart Lung 1985; 14(5): 499–504.
- FahyTA. The diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder. A Clinical Review. Br J Psychiatry 1988; 153: 597–606.
- Rudiger H. Die Metapher vom Herzen in der Literatur. In: Thomae K, ed. Das Herz im Umkreis des Denkens. Biberach ar. der Riss 1985: 87–154.
- Does changing the heart mean changing personality? A retrospective inquiry on 47 heart transplant patients
Quality of Life Research
Volume 1, Issue 4 , pp 251-256
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Body image
- changes of personality
- heart transplantation
- Industry Sectors