Trajectories of perceived benefits in living kidney donors: association with donor characteristics and recipient outcomes.

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Nephrology & Transplantation; Surgery

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MeSH Headings

Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Female, Humans, Kidney Transplantation, Living Donors, Logistic Models, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Treatment Outcome


BACKGROUND: While improved health of the recipient may serve as a primary motivating factor, living kidney donors (LDs) also may expect to accrue some personal benefit following donation. This study sought to identify trajectories of perceived benefit over the first 2 years after donation.

METHODS: Prospective questionnaire data were collected from 133 LDs from three kidney transplant programs in the United States. Before surgery, LDs completed the Living Donation Expectancies Questionnaire to assess their expectations of personal growth, interpersonal benefits, and spiritual benefits from the donation experience. This report then assessed the degree to which these expectations were met at 1, 6, 12, and 24 months post-donation.

RESULTS: Analyses revealed four (Interpersonal Benefit) and five (Personal Growth, Spiritual Benefit) distinct trajectories over time. For some LDs, pre-donation expectancies about benefit were met or exceeded over the 2 years, while for others the anticipated benefits were either short-lived or not met at all. Trajectory group assignment was associated with some donor characteristics (e.g., age, gender, and relationship to recipient). Also, LDs whose recipients had functioning grafts and who reported improved health status following transplantation were more likely to have their pre-donation personal growth and interpersonal benefit expectations consistently met or exceeded.

CONCLUSIONS: Longitudinal trajectory analysis can help to identify different outcomes patterns for LDs and factors associated with them. The relevance of these findings is discussed in the context of LD education, follow-up care, and future research on donation benefits.



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