Much remains to be done to facilitate the transplantation process for patients with end-stage renal disease. The aim here was to explore these patients' experiences of the donation process and factors related to whether the actual donors of the recipients were living or deceased and describe which issues needed attention in a quality development project.
A specially constructed questionnaire was sent to 246 recipients of living and deceased kidney transplants who had been transplanted at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. The response rate was 87%.
Six conditions were identified as problematic: --Most living-donor kidney recipients perceived the evaluation period for the donors as too long. --Although a living donor was available, most living-donor kidney recipients had to undergo dialysis for a relatively long period. --A majority of the patients perceived it difficult to ask for a donation. Deceased-donor kidney recipients were least satisfied with the offered support in finding a living donor. --Patients perceived fear as the main reason for potential living donors to refuse donation. --About one-fourth of living-donor kidney recipients thought that the donors were abandoned by healthcare after nephrectomy. --Older patients and singles were least likely to receive a living-donor kidney.
The problem issues outlined above should be scrutinized and improved. Checking these issues can be used in quality control when analysing living kidney donation at local and national levels.