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Prog Transplant. 2003 Jun;13(2):142-50.

One organ donation, three perspectives: experiences of donors, recipients, and third parties with living kidney donation.

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Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo, USA.


Although living kidney donors' experiences with donation have been studied, questions of potential bias in retrospective donor reports remain. This study examined the experience of living kidney donation from 3 perspectives: those of the donor, the recipient, and a third party involved with the donation (ie, a donor triad). Surveys were completed with 174 donor triads to examine triad members' perceptions of donors' concerns before transplantation, whether these concerns came true after transplantation, the donors' experiences with surgery and recovery, and whether they would make the same decision again today. Triad members all agreed that donors were highly satisfied with their donation experience and that the relationship between recipient and donor improved after transplantation. Although recipients and third parties correctly identified the donors' primary concerns, they underestimated the prevalence of 16 of 18 donor concerns, including the donors' willingness to make the same decision again. Recipients also overestimated how painful and difficult the surgery and recovery were for donors. The results suggest that retrospective studies of donors may not be marred by significant misreporting or memory biases and that better education about the donation experience for the entire donor triad might provide better social supportfor donors, reduce recipients' guilt about donors' pain, and increase donation rates overall.

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