Decision making and psychosocial outcomes among living kidney donors: a pilot study

Prog Transplant. 2010 Mar;20(1):53-7. doi: 10.7182/prtr.20.1.a7864j778j772888.


With an increasing number of available kidney transplant donors comes greater demand for systematic screening of prospective donors to ensure the integrity of the donor's decision and to minimize the risk of a poor postoperative outcome. The present study was intended to explore psychosocial outcomes after kidney donation, aspects of donors' decision making, and donors' experience of the transplantation process. It was hoped that this pilot study would inform the design of a large-scale longitudinal prospective investigation of psychosocial outcomes of kidney donation. In this cross-sectional, retrospective investigation, all patients who had received psychosocial screening before their kidney donation were approached. Seventeen of 43 previous kidney donors responded to a postal questionnaire. Donors' health-related quality of life was higher than population norms on all dimensions. Most participants reported involving someone else in the decision-making process. Donors indicated high levels of satisfaction with virtually all aspects of the donation process. The generalizability of the findings in the context of the limitations of the present pilot study is discussed and specific suggestions for the design of future studies are provided.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Decision Making*
  • Donor Selection / methods
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation* / psychology
  • Living Donors / psychology*
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrectomy / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scotland
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome