Skip to content

Better the donor you know?: A qualitative study of renal patients' views on ‘altruistic’ live-donor kidney transplantation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume150
Early online date28 Dec 2015
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Dec 2015

Abstract

Background

In the UK there is a short-fall between individuals requiring a renal transplant and kidneys available for transplantation. Non-directed ‘altruistic’ living kidney donation has emerged as a strategy for bridging this gap between supply and demand, with the number increasing each year.

Objective

This study aimed to explore the views of potential recipients towards non-directed ‘altruistic’ live-donor kidney transplantation.

Methods

Semi-structured interviews with 32 UK deceased-donor kidney transplant recipients were performed. Interviews explored willingness to consider directed and non-directed live-donor kidney transplants (LDKTs). Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and transcripts were analysed using the constant comparison method described in Grounded Theory.

Results

For those not willing to accept a non-directed ‘altruistic’ LDKT, the following themes were identified: i) Prioritising other recipients above self; ii) Fear of acquiring an unknown donor's characteristics, and iii) Concern for the donor – unnecessary risk. For those willing to accept a non-directed ‘altruistic’ LDKT the following themes were identified: iv) Prioritising known above unknown persons, v) Belief that they are as deserving as other potential recipients, and vi) Advantages of a LDKT.

Conclusions

Drawing on ‘gift exchange theory’, this study contributes to our understanding of the experience of the intended recipient of a gift. The anonymity of the donor-recipient appears to be seen as a benefit of non-directed ‘altruistic’ live-donor transplants, freeing recipients from the obligations of the gift. However, those who feel unworthy of the ‘gifted transplant’ are concerned about the donor and by the lack of opportunity for direct reciprocity. Highlighting the ‘reciprocal benefits’ reported by donors may allow individuals whose preference is a live-donor transplant to accept one if offered. These insights provide the transplant community with targets for intervention, through which the concerns of potential recipients might be addressed.

    Research areas

  • Non-directed 'altruistic', Non-directed, Altruistic, Living kidney donation, Qualitative research, Gift exchange

Download statistics

No data available

Documents

Documents

  • 1-s2.0-S0277953615303002-main

    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Elsevier at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953615303002. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Final published version, 295 KB, PDF-document

    License: CC BY

DOI

View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups