Willingness of Hemodialysis Patient's Family Members Toward Kidney Donation: A Cross-Sectional Study

Transplant Proc. 2020 Dec;52(10):2996-3001. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2020.05.017. Epub 2020 Jul 23.


Background and objectives: There is a significant shortage of kidneys available for donation. Family members of hemodialysis (HD) patients are experiencing the suffering of their close relatives, which can be a factor toward better acceptance to kidney donation. Knowledge is also an important factor that might affect willingness. In this study, we aimed to estimate the rate of willingness to donate kidneys as live donors (LD) and identify related potential barriers among family members of HD patients.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional observational study involving family members of adult HD patients from King Abdulaziz Medical City and the King Abdullah International Foundation dialysis project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Participants were interviewed through phone calls using a pretested questionnaire. Calculated sample size was 385.

Results: A total of 370 family members of HD patients were included. Median age was 37 (interquartile range: 33-44) years and 64% were male. All participants were first-degree relatives to HD Patients. The majority reported willingness to donate kidneys as LD (n = 300, 81%), a proportion 0.81% with 95% confidence interval (CI; 0.77-0.85). Only 42 (11%) graded their knowledge about kidney transplantation as high or very high. On multivariable analysis, less willingness was shown with age >40 years (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.459; 95% CI 0.266-0.792; P = .005), and female gender (AOR 0.496; 95% CI 0.287-0.856; P = .012).

Conclusion: The majority of family members of HD patients were willing to donate kidneys. The willingness rate was lower among participants 40 years of age and older, as well as among women. The majority of patients graded their knowledge about kidney transplantation as average or lower. Therefore, education targeting of relatives of HD patients may help optimize knowledge and hence improve acceptance of kidney donation.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Living Donors / supply & distribution*
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Surveys and Questionnaires