Kidney transplants from living donors: how donation affects family dynamics

Adv Ren Replace Ther. 1998 Apr;5(2):89-97. doi: 10.1016/s1073-4449(98)70002-0.


Living donors continue to provide the optimum outcome for kidney transplant recipients, yet information is limited on how donation can affect the donor and his or her family. Questionnaires returned by 524 donors whose donor nephrectomies took place between August 1, 1985 and December 31, 1996 at the University of Minnesota were analyzed to determine if perioperative complications influence their quality of life, among other emotional and lifestyle areas. Results showed that donors have a higher quality of life than the general population, confirming they have an increased self-worth and positive self-esteem. An overwhelming 96% would donate again. However, donation was self-reported as more stressful when complications were experienced (P = .003) and when donors were female (P = .041). Relatives other than immediate family members (extended relatives) were more likely to be among the 4% who said they would not donate again. Available support, financial impact, and relationship changes as a result of donation also were revealed. Relevant results from this larger study are discussed as they relate to how the renal donor and transplant family are affected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Living Donors*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Quality of Life
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology