Education Priorities and What Matters to Those Considering Living Kidney Donation

Kara Schick-Makaroff, Rebecca E. Hays, Julia Hunt, Laura A. Taylor, Dianne La Pointe Rudow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Although informed consent content elements are prescribed in detailed regulatory guidance, many live kidney donors describe feeling underprepared and under informed. The goal of this pilot study was to explore the educational components needed to support an informed decision-making process for living kidney donors. Methods/Approach: A qualitative description design was conducted with thematic analysis of 5 focus groups with 2 cohorts: living kidney donor candidates (n = 11) and living kidney donors (n = 8). Findings: The educational components needed to engage in an informed decision-making process were: 1) contingent upon, and motivated by, personal circumstances; 2) supported through explanation of risks and benefits; 3) enhanced by understanding the overall donation experience; and 4) personalized by talking to another donor. Discussion: Tailoring education to meet the needs for fully informed decision-making is essential. Current education requirements, as defined by regulatory bodies, remain challenging to transplant teams attempting to ensure fully informed consent of living kidney donor candidates. Information on the emotional, financial, and overall life impact is needed, along with acknowledgement of relational ties driving donor motivations and the hoped-for recipient outcomes. Discussion of care practices, and access to peer mentoring may further strengthen the informed decision-making process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Motivation
  • education
  • informed consent
  • living kidney donor
  • qualitative


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