The dynamics of recipient-donor relationships in living kidney transplantation.

Research paper by Imran I Sajjad, Lyndsay S LS Baines, Moro M Salifu, Rahul M RM Jindal

Indexed on: 24 Oct '07Published on: 24 Oct '07Published in: American Journal of Kidney Diseases


Psychosocial issues in kidney transplant donors and recipients are a cause for concern. We reviewed studies that investigated psychosocial issues in donors and recipients of living kidney transplants. A variety of instruments were used for this purpose. However, there was a lack of consensus regarding the structure and method of psychosocial assessment in living kidney donors. We found that only a few centers currently carry out a systematic psychosocial follow-up of recipients and their donors. The majority of psychosocial studies were of living kidney donors, indicating a preference of researchers to study psychosocial issues in live kidney donors. We believe living kidney transplant recipients are also an important group, and more studies should be done to better understand the psychosocial issues in this group. The majority of studies were retrospective in nature. We also discuss relationships, interactions, and communication patterns that characterize living kidney donation. We place emphasis on understanding the relational history of donors and recipients to provide supportive intervention and enable the potential donor make an informed decision about surgery. We recommend comprehensive psychosocial screening before and after transplantation and donation. This may decrease psychological problems and increase satisfaction with the transplantation process. Furthermore, the transplant community will need to address the type of instruments, duration of follow-up, and funding sources to carry out our recommendations.