Randomized trial of an uncertainty self-management telephone intervention for patients awaiting liver transplant

Donald E. Bailey, Cristina C. Hendrix, Karen E. Steinhauser, Karen M. Stechuchak, Laura S. Porter, Julie Hudson, Maren K. Olsen, Andrew Muir, Sarah Lowman, Andrea DiMartini, Laurel Williams Salonen, James A. Tulsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective We tested an uncertainty self-management telephone intervention (SMI) with patients awaiting liver transplant and their caregivers. Methods Participants were recruited from four transplant centers and completed questionnaires at baseline, 10, and 12 weeks from baseline (generally two and four weeks after intervention delivery, respectively). Dyads were randomized to either SMI (n = 56) or liver disease education (LDE; n = 59), both of which involved six weekly telephone sessions. SMI participants were taught coping skills and uncertainty management strategies while LDE participants learned about liver function and how to stay healthy. Outcomes included illness uncertainty, uncertainty management, depression, anxiety, self-efficacy, and quality of life. General linear models were used to test for group differences. Results No differences were found between the SMI and LDE groups for study outcomes. Conclusion This trial offers insight regarding design for future interventions that may allow greater flexibility in length of delivery beyond our study's 12-week timeframe. Practice implications Our study was designed for the time constraints of today's clinical practice setting. This trial is a beginning point to address the unmet needs of these patients and their caregivers as they wait for transplants that could save their lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-517
Number of pages9
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Coping skills
  • Illness uncertainty
  • Intervention
  • Self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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