Exploring Knowledge About Dialysis, Transplantation, and Living Donation Among Patients and Their Living Kidney Donors

Int J Behav Med. 2015 Oct;22(5):580-9. doi: 10.1007/s12529-015-9461-7.


Background: In order to make a well-considered decision and give informed consent about renal replacement therapy, potential living kidney donors and recipients should have sufficient understanding of the options and risks.

Purpose: We aimed to explore knowledge about Dialysis & Transplantation (DT) and Living Donation (LD) among prospective living kidney donors and recipients.

Methods: Eighty-five donors and 81 recipients completed the Rotterdam Renal Replacement Knowledge-Test (R3K-T) 1 day before surgery. The questionnaire was available in various languages.

Results: Recipients knew significantly more about DT than donors (p < 0.001); donors knew more about LD than recipients (p < 0.001). A minority of donors (15 %) and recipients (17 %) had a score that was comparable to the knowledge level of the naïve general population. Recipients and donors knew less about DT and LD if their native language was not Dutch. In addition, recipients knew less about DT if they were undergoing pre-emptive transplantation.

Conclusions: We conclude that recipients and donors retain different information. The decision to undergo living donation appears to be not always based on full knowledge of the risks. We recommend that professionals assess knowledge of prospective donors and recipients during the education process using the R3K-T, and extra attention is required for non-native speakers.

Keywords: Informed consent; Kidney transplantation; Knowledge; Living donor; Organ donation; Questionnaire.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Living Donors*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult