Health related quality of life (HRQoL) of living kidney donors on average is good, but some donors experience a low HRQoL after donation. This study assessed the prevalence of reduced HRQoL and explored associations with pre- and post-donation variables. 316 donors (response rate 74%) who donated a kidney between 1997 and 2009 filled in a questionnaire. HRQoL was measured using the Short-Form 36; fatigue using the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory; societal participation using the Utrecht Scale for Evaluation of Rehabilitation-Participation. Donors on average had better HRQoL than the general population. However, 12% had a reduced physical (PCS) and 18% a reduced mental (MCS) HRQoL. Donors with reduced HRQoL reported greater fatigue (P < 0.01), lower societal participation (P < 0.01) and showed a trend towards statistical significance in experiencing more donor-recipient relationship changes (P = 0.07). Prior to donation, donors with reduced PCS had a higher BMI (P < 0.05) and more often smoked (P < 0.05). Donors with reduced MCS had higher expectations (P < 0.05). Reduced HRQoL is associated with higher BMI, smoking and higher expectations prior to donation. These results may be used to develop a screening instrument to select donors at high risk for reduced HRQoL.
© 2012 The Authors. Transplant International © 2012 European Society for Organ Transplantation.