Pretransplant Patient Education in Solid-organ Transplant: A Narrative Review

Transplantation. 2022 Apr 1;106(4):722-733. doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000003893.


Education for pretransplant, solid-organ recipient candidates aims to improve knowledge and understanding about the transplant process, outcomes, and potential complications to support informed, shared decision-making to reduce fears and anxieties about transplant, inform expectations, and facilitate adjustment to posttransplant life. In this review, we summarize novel pretransplant initiatives and approaches to educate solid-organ transplant recipient candidates. First, we review approaches that may be common to all solid-organ transplants, then we summarize interventions specific to kidney, liver, lung, and heart transplant. We describe evidence that emphasizes the need for multidisciplinary approaches to transplant education. We also summarize initiatives that consider online (eHealth) and mobile (mHealth) solutions. Finally, we highlight education initiatives that support racialized or otherwise marginalized communities to improve equitable access to solid-organ transplant. A considerable amount of work has been done in solid-organ transplant since the early 2000s with promising results. However, many studies on education for pretransplant recipient candidates involve relatively small samples and nonrandomized designs and focus on short-term surrogate outcomes. Overall, many of these studies have a high risk of bias. Frequently, interventions assessed are not well characterized or they are combined with administrative and data-driven initiatives into multifaceted interventions, which makes it difficult to assess the impact of the education component on outcomes. In the future, well-designed studies rigorously assessing well-defined surrogate and clinical outcomes will be needed to evaluate the impact of many promising initiatives.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Heart Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Organ Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Telemedicine*
  • Transplant Recipients