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Prog Transplant. 2018 Mar;28(1):29-35. doi: 10.1177/1526924817746682. Epub 2017 Dec 15.

Assessing Living Donor Priorities Through Nominal Group Technique.

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1 Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD, USA.
2 Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
3 VA Connecticut Healthcare System, Newington, CT, USA.


The need for kidneys for transplantation continues to far surpass the number of donors. Although studies have shown that most people are aware of and support the idea of living donation, it remains unclear what motivates individuals who are aware, knowledgeable, and in support of donation to actually donate, or conversely, what deters them from donating. Utilizing nominal group technique, 30 individuals participated in 4 groups in which they brainstormed factors that would impact willingness to be a living donor and voted on which factors they deemed most important. Responses were analyzed and categorized into themes. Factors that influence the donation decision, from most to least important as rated by participants, were altruism, relationship to recipient, knowledge, personal risk/impact, convenience/access, cost, support, personal benefit, and religion. Participants reported a significant lack of information about donation as well as lack of knowledge about where and how to obtain information that would motivate them to donate or help make the decision to donate. Findings suggest that public campaign efforts seeking to increase rates of living donation should appeal to altruism and increase knowledge about the impact (or lack thereof) of donation on lifestyle factors and future health, and transplant programs should aim to maximize convenience and minimize donor burden. Future research should examine whether tailoring public campaigns to address factors perceived as most salient by potential donors reduces the significant gap in supply of and demand for kidneys.


altruism; decision making; kidney donation; living donors; organ donation

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