Purpose of review
Currently, several research approaches warrant further attention, given the influence of psychosocial and bioethical issues on the success of upper extremity (UETx), face (FTx), and uterine transplantation (UTx). This review will highlight recent results of psychosocial and bioethical research in the field of vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA), discuss most recent findings, provide information to guide future research approaches, and address the importance of a multicenter research approach to develop international standards.
Previously published reports have tried to identify psychosocial factors that are essential to predict psychosocial outcomes and guide posttransplant treatment after VCA procedures. These issues in VCA are receiving more attention but we are still at the beginning of a systematic investigation of these domains. This review article summarizes the emerging psychosocial issues in UeTx, FTx, and UTx by including recent literature and current clinical practice.
Even though different VCA procedures address different domains leading to specific psychosocial issues, common aspects impacting all forms of VCA would benefit of further coordination. These domains include clinical resources, public attitude and perception, bioethical considerations, adherence and rehabilitation, motives for VCA, information needs and multidisciplinary communication, body image, domains of quality of life, coping strategies, and follow-up care.