Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Janet Jedlicka


Liver Transplantation; Liver Transplantation -- rehabilitation


Liver transplantation is the only treatment of choice for chronic liver disease. The illness distress associated with liver disease and transplantation involves every aspect of the individual's life (physical, psychological, social and spiritual) and impacts the individual's quality of life, an important outcome measure of life satisfaction and well-being (Belle, Hoofnagle, Lake, Porayko & Zatlerman, 1997). Patients on the liver transplant waiting list experience a decline in functional performance or may expire while waiting.

The occupational therapist has the challenge of motivating the patient to independently mange his or her life and will complete a comprehensive evaluation with emphasis on the social, emotional, and physiological effects following liver transplantation. Occupational therapy intervention for those awaiting liver transplantation aids in assisting and providing a safe environment for the person living with the progressive disease process, facilitates the strength and endurance necessary to under-go such a complex surgery as well as promotes improved functional outcomes post surgery (Hasting, Gowans, & Watson, 2004).

Reviewing the current professional literature and research was a key element in accomplishing the goal of identifying an evidence-based method to incorporate occupational therapy interventions into the lives of those with end-stage liver disease. A comprehensive literature review revealed the complicated process of liver disease and post liver transplant recovery. Based on the literature review, a comprehensive education program was developed for patients with end-stage liver disease and their families. The program consists of five sessions addressing detailed information and education to the families/caregivers regarding the disease progression. It provides a glimpse into post surgical activity guidelines following liver transplantation.

Each session consists of a group activity, time to review previous information and answer questions before beginning new content. Included in the project are extensive notes and activities for the occupational therapist that is implementing the sessions. The goal of these sessions is to provide participants with information and resources to maintain a healthy status while awaiting transplantation and post surgery.