Research in pretransplant screening

Mayo Clinic doctors trained in mental health conditions (psychologists and psychiatrists) study how to most effectively screen people prior to a hand transplant for mental (psychological) factors.

A psychosocial assessment, an aspect of a transplant evaluation, can help doctors determine if you're an appropriate candidate for a transplant. A psychosocial assessment evaluates your support system, coping skills, ability to manage hand therapy and medications, and other issues.

Research includes a trial studying a pre-screening psychosocial assessment for hand transplant. Researchers study questionnaires completed by hand transplant candidates before and after a hand transplant and questionnaires completed by candidates who were ineligible for a transplant. Questions assess psychosocial characteristics and issues related to hand transplant. Doctors study the questionnaire and other assessment tools to evaluate which questions and what information is most important in a psychosocial assessment.

Doctors also study psychosocial characteristics to understand which characteristics may help people have a successful hand transplant and an improved quality of life. People with a good support system, coping skills, communication skills, ability to manage medications and other skills may be appropriate candidates for hand transplant.