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.