PRINCIPLES: Various non-specific questionnaires were used to measure quality of life and psychological wellbeing of patients after organ transplantation. At present cross-organ studies dealing specifically with the psychological response to a transplanted organ are non-existent in German-speaking countries. METHODS: The Transplant Effects Questionnaire TxEQ-D and the SF-36 Quality of Life Questionnaire were used to examine the psychological response and quality of life of 370 patients after heart, lung, liver or kidney transplantation. The organ groups were compared with regard to psychosocial parameters. RESULTS: 72% of patients develop a feeling of responsibility for the received organ and its function. This feeling is even stronger towards the patient's key relationships i.e. family, friends, the treatment team and the donor. 11.6% worry about the transplanted organ. Heart and lung patients report significantly fewer concerns than liver and kidney patients. Overall, only a minority of patients report feelings of guilt towards the donor (2.7%), problems in disclosing their transplant to others (2.4%), or difficulties in complying with medical orders (3.5%). Lung transplant patients show significantly better adherence. CONCLUSIONS: A feeling of responsibility towards those one is close to and towards the donor is a common psychological phenomenon after transplantation of an organ. Conscious feelings of guilt and shame are harboured by only a minority of patients. The fact that heart and lung patients worry less about their transplant might have primarily to do with the greater medical and psychosocial support in this group.