Little is known about the long-term satisfaction with life (SWL) of live kidney donors. We surveyed SWL among a population of kidney donors participating in the Renal and Lung Living Donors Evaluation Study (RELIVE).
Live kidney donors between 1963 and 2005 at three transplant centers were contacted between 2010 and 2012. A quality of life questionnaire, including measures such as the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener, et al 1985), was completed by 2,455 donors. Multiple linear regression was used to identify predictors of SWL, testing demographic characteristics, optimism (measured by the LOT-R) and retrospective recall about donation experiences and outcomes based on responses to specific questions.
Donors were 15 to 74 years old at donation and 24 to 94 years old at assessment. The majority were female (61%), white or European American (93%), and not Hispanic or Latino (98%). Most donors (87%) were related to their recipients.
SWL scores covered the entire range of the scale (5 to 35) and averaged 26.2 (SD = 6.7). Scores greater than 20 are considered satisfied with life. Donors were as satisfied or more satisfied with their lives than previously reported non-donor samples.
Adjusting for demographic characteristics and optimism, SWL subsequent to donation was significantly associated with donation-related experiences. For example, donors who reported having more support from healthcare providers and donors who indicated that the donation had a positive effect on their relationship with the recipient had higher SWL (each p < 0.01). In contrast, donors who reported having problems paying medical bills and routine household bills because of donation and those who reported having had a complication had lower SWL (all p < 0.01). Interestingly, recipient vital and graft status were not significant predictors of SWL.
Donation-related events are related to later kidney donor SWL. The association between the act of donation and later SWL appeared to be independent of the outcome for the recipient. These findings may reflect cognitive dissonance of donation-related experiences. Strategies focused on improving the donation experience may foster positive long-term donor SWL outcomes.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Messersmith E, Gillespie B, Hong B, Jacobs C, Taler S, Jowsey S, Merion R, Leichtman A, Beil C, Gross C, Group theRELIVEStudy. Long-Term Satisfaction with Life after Living Kidney Donation: A RELIVE Study [abstract]. Am J Transplant. 2013; 13 (suppl 5). https://atcmeetingabstracts.com/abstract/long-term-satisfaction-with-life-after-living-kidney-donation-a-relive-study/. Accessed May 9, 2021.
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