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Pediatr Transplant. 2019 Sep;23(6):e13513. doi: 10.1111/petr.13513. Epub 2019 Jun 19.

Barriers to access in pediatric living-donor liver transplantation.

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Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
Department of Internal Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Center for Health Services Research, Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.
Department of Surgery, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.


Children receiving a LDLT have superior post-transplant outcomes, but this procedure is only used for 10% of transplant recipients. Better understanding about barriers toward LDLT and the sociodemographic characteristics that influence these underlying mechanisms would help to inform strategies to increase its use. We conducted an online, anonymous survey of parents/caregivers for children awaiting, or have received, a liver transplant regarding their knowledge and attitudes about LDLT. The survey was completed by 217 respondents. While 97% of respondents understood an individual could donate a portion of their liver, only 72% knew the steps in evaluation, and 69% understood the donor surgery was covered by the recipient's insurance. Individuals with public insurance were less likely than those with private insurance to know the steps for LDLT evaluation (44% vs 82%; P < 0.001). Respondents with public insurance were less likely to know someone that had been a living donor (44% vs 56%; P = 0.005) as were individuals without a college degree (64% vs 85%; P = 0.007). Nearly all respondents generally trusted their healthcare team. Among respondents, 82% believed they were well-informed about LDLT but individuals with public insurance were significantly less likely to feel well-informed (67% vs 87%; P = 0.03) and to understand how donor surgery might impact donor work/time off (44% vs 81%; P = 0.001). Substantial gaps exist in parental understanding about LDLT, including its evaluation, potential benefits, and complications. Greater emphasis on addressing these barriers, especially to individuals with fewer resources, will be helpful to expand the use of LDLT.


access; barriers; liver; living donor; pediatric


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