Organ Transplant Recipients’ Experiences of Physical Activity: Health, Self-Care, and Transliminality

Gareth Wiltshire, Nicola J. Clarke, Cassandra Phoenix, Carl Bescoby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)


Physical activity (PA) is an important lifestyle component of long-term health management for organ transplant recipients, yet little is known about recipients’ experiences of PA. The purpose of this study was to shed light on this experience and to investigate the possible implications of PA in the context of what is a complex patient journey. Phenomenological analysis was used to examine interviews with 13 organ transplant recipients who had taken part in sporting opportunities posttransplantation. Findings illuminate how participants’ experiences of PA were commonly shaped by the transliminal nature of being an organ transplant recipient as well as a sense of duty to enact health, self-care, and donor-directed gratitude. This analysis underlines the potential role of PA in supporting organ transplant recipients’ attempts to live well following transplantation and makes novel connections between PA and our existing knowledge about challenges related to identity, survivorship, obligation, and patient empowerment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-398
Number of pages14
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number2
Early online date30 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • exercise
  • health
  • international
  • interviews
  • organ transplantation
  • phenomenology
  • physical activity
  • qualitative
  • self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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