Session Name: Psychosocial and Treatment Adherence
Session Date & Time: None. Available on demand.
*Purpose: Although the number of older adults who might benefit from kidney transplantation continues to increase in the United states, little is known about older adults’ lived experience of transplantation and the impact of transplant on their sense of embodied selfhood.
*Methods: Employing a phenomenological research design, this study explored the lived experience of 10 deceased donor kidney transplant recipients aged 65 to 72 years old. Participants completed one to two in-depth phenomenological interviews lasting approximately one hour each, for a total of 15 interviews. The sample was drawn from a transplant center in an urban location in the United States. Interview transcripts and field notes were analyzed following the processes of phenomenological reduction, imaginative variation and synthesis.
*Results: Analyses illuminated older adults’ perceptions of the impact of kidney transplantation on their sense of physical, psychological and social selfhood. Participants reported experiencing physical and psychosocial challenges as they adjusted to their transplants, yet they also constructed powerful narratives of resilience and coping that were rooted in a deeply held sense of identity developed over the life course. This sense of continuity of the embodied self over time enabled most participants to better navigate the corporeal disruption and re-integration of transplantation. Participants expressed profound appreciation for their transplants and reported substantial improvement in quality of life as compared to their pre-transplant experience on dialysis. Most participants perceived their older age as playing a protective role in the recovery process.
*Conclusions: These findings shed light on benefits of older age for kidney transplant recipients that may not be fully integrated into standard approaches to patient selection and assessment of transplant outcomes. As such, findings may help to address age-related bias in transplant policy and clinical practice, with the ultimate goal of improving wellbeing and quality of life for older adults.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Kimberly L. The Lived Experience of Older Adult Kidney Transplant Recipients: Reflections on Embodied Selfhood in Later Life [abstract]. Am J Transplant. 2021; 21 (suppl 3). https://atcmeetingabstracts.com/abstract/the-lived-experience-of-older-adult-kidney-transplant-recipients-reflections-on-embodied-selfhood-in-later-life/. Accessed June 12, 2021.
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