The psychosocial impact of donating a kidney: long-term follow-up from a urology based center

J Urol. 1997 May;157(5):1596-601. doi: 10.1016/s0022-5347(01)64803-1.


Purpose: We conducted a psychosocial followup of living kidney donors from 1983 to 1995.

Materials and methods: A new questionnaire about donor satisfaction and the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey, a standardized measure of health related quality of life, were completed by 167 donors (67% response rate).

Results: Of respondents 90% would make the same choice again and 83% would strongly encourage others to donate. However, 15% of respondents believed that donating had impacted negatively on their health and 23% reported negative financial consequences. Respondent health related quality of life was not impaired. The strongest correlates of donor dissatisfaction included a conflicted initial relationship with the recipient, believing that information given preoperatively had been inadequate and perceived damage to health or finances.

Conclusions: Only a minority of living kidney donors suffer psychosocial morbidity. Better psychological preparation for surgery and more consistent followup could decrease negative outcomes further.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Family Relations
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation* / economics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Donors / psychology*