Living kidney donor decision making and communication

J Health Commun. 2011 Sep;16(8):870-88. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2011.563668. Epub 2011 Jun 9.


There is high demand for kidney donors in the United States, and it is widely accepted that living donation is optimal for individuals who need a kidney. Much research has focused on the potential recipient, but little has been studied about the communication and decision making of living kidney donors. Interviews assessed the communication and decision-making processes of 43 kidney donor volunteers. Almost all of the participants were not asked, but instead volunteered, to donate. The majority of donors reported having conversations with the recipient and speaking about their decisions with other individuals in their social networks besides the recipient. Some participants said that they stopped talking to others because of negative feedback. Future research should further examine the communication of donors with non-recipient others and potential methods of training recipients and donors to communicate effectively about the donation process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communication*
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Kidney*
  • Living Donors / psychology*
  • Living Donors / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Qualitative Research
  • Young Adult