Waiting for a liver transplant

Jill Brown, James H. Sorrell, Jason McClaren, John W. Creswell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


The waiting period for liver transplantation is a difficult time fraught with uncertainty and associated with a high rate of morbidity and mortality. To understand better what it means for a transplant patient to wait, the authors explore in this phenomenological study the meaning that people with liver failure ascribe to the experience of waiting for a transplant. They conducted 9 interviews using phenomenological methods of inquiry as a guide for analysis. Eight core themes emerged from 146 significant statements and corresponding meaning units. The experience of waiting includes transformations, doctors, teams and trust, elation to despair, loss, questioning the process, searching, coping, and the paradox of time. The essence of the experience is discussed in light of the theory of chronic illness as a disruption of biographical narrative. The authors highlight implications for the transplant teams and other health care providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-136
Number of pages18
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic illness
  • Coping time perspective
  • End stage liver disease
  • Qualitative
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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