Transplant Trajectory and Relational Experience Within Living Kidney Dyads

Qual Health Res. 2016 Jan;26(2):194-203. doi: 10.1177/1049732315570128. Epub 2015 Feb 19.


Living kidney donation is considered common practice across most Westernized countries. While extensive research has documented the experience of living donors, few studies have addressed the perspective of recipients, and even fewer have examined the experience of donor and recipient as an interactive dyad. In this study, our aim was to examine the reciprocal influence between donors and recipients across the transplantation process. We recruited a homogeneous sample of 10 donors and recipients, who were interviewed individually. Data were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The presentation of results follows the stages of the transplantation process: the disease experience, the experience of offering and accepting a kidney, the screening period, the surgery, and the post-transplantation period. Results are discussed within the framework of Mauss's gift exchange theory, social roles, and altruism. This comprehensive description of the dyadic experience provides a way to frame and understand psychosocial aspects and relational implications of living renal transplantation.

Keywords: illness and disease, experiences; interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA); interviews, semistructured; lived experience; nephrology; organ donation; psychology; psychosocial issues; qualitative analysis; relationships; research, qualitative analysis; surgery; transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Altruism
  • Attitude to Health
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / psychology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery
  • Kidney Transplantation / psychology*
  • Living Donors / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrectomy / psychology*
  • Urban Population