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J Natl Med Assoc. Jun 2006; 98(6): 834–840.
PMCID: PMC2569358

Healthcare professionals' perceptions of the barriers to living donor kidney transplantation among African Americans.


The number of African Americans participating in living donations continues to remain low. Although researchers have identified multiple barriers to cadaveric donation, relatively little is known about barriers to living kidney donation among this population. We conducted three focus groups of healthcare professionals from a transplant center in South Carolina to determine their perceptions of barriers to living kidney donation among African Americans. An African-American and a Caucasian member of the project team facilitated the groups. Sessions were taped, transcribed and analyzed for key themes. Eighteen transplant professionals participated in the three focus groups, including physicians, transplant coordinators, pharmacists and a data coordinator. Analysis of the transcripts revealed the following perceived barriers to living kidney donation among African Americans: 1) pre-existing medical conditions, 2) financial concerns, 3) reluctance to ask family members and/or friends, 4) distrust of the medical community, 5) fear of surgery, and 6) lack of awareness about living donor kidney transplantation. In addition to previously described barriers to cadaveric donation, this study identified barriers unique to living donation, such as pre-existing medical conditions, financial concerns, reluctance to ask a living donor and fear of surgery.

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