Research Article| Volume 66, e130-e136, September 2022

The effect of perceived social support on the psychosocial status of parents whose child had liver transplantation


      • Organ transplantation is a very stressful and complex process for children as well as their parents.
      • The perceived social support score of the parents was low while parents' loneliness level was high.
      • The depression and anxiety levels of the parents were found to be moderate and high, respectively.
      • There was negative correlation between parental social support and depression, loneliness, anxiety.
      • Nurses can reduce the anxiety, loneliness and depression of parents, by strengthening their social support systems.



      The aim of this study was to describe parental psychosocial outcomes following paediatric liver transplantation and the relationship between parental psychosocial outcomes and social support.


      This is a correlational, descriptive study conducted between April 2021 and October 2021 in the paediatric hepatology polyclinics of the liver transplantation institute of a university hospital. The SPSS 25 and AMOS 23 package programmes were used to perform data analyses.


      Data analysis revealed that the parents' social support level was low (44.6 ± 14.8), while their levels of trait anxiety (51.5 ± 4.8) and loneliness (48.5 ± 5.4) were high, and their depression level was moderate (26.4 ± 5.8). Established structural equation modelling demonstrated that the social support parents received had a significant effect on their levels of loneliness (β = −0.88; p < 0.001), trait anxiety (β = −0.37; p < 0.001), and depression (β = −0.44; p < 0.001).


      The authors conclude that in parents of children who have had a liver transplant, increased levels of perceived social support result in decreased levels of anxiety, loneliness, and depression.

      Practice implications

      The authors recommend that healthcare professionals can contribute to reducing the anxiety, loneliness and depression in parents of paediatric liver transplant recipients by strengthening their social support systems.



      MSPSS (Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support), BDI (Beck Depression Inventory), ULS (UCLA Loneliness Scale), TAI (Trait Anxiety Inventory), SEM (Structural Equation Modelling)
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