• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention high-risk donor;
  • deceased donor transplantation;
  • hepatitis C virus;
  • HIV;
  • patient attitudes

Ros RL, Kucirka LM, Govindan P, Sarathy H, Montgomery RA, Segev DL. Patient attitudes toward CDC high infectious risk donor kidney transplantation: inferences from focus groups. Clin Transplant 2011 DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-0012.2011.01469.x. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Abstract:  Introduction:  Deceased donors are considered high infectious risk donors (IRDs) based on criteria thought to be associated with risk of HIV transmission. Significant variation exists in provider willingness to utilize IRD kidneys. Little is known about how patients view these organs. Our aim was to explore patient attitudes toward IRDs and IRD kidney transplantation.

Methods:  Patients were recruited from a single-center deceased donor waitlist. Focus groups stratified by age and race were conducted to ascertain patient attitudes toward IRD kidney transplantation. Transcripts were examined using standard qualitative methods.

Results:  Patients considered IRD kidneys most appropriate for patients at high risk of death or with poor quality of life on dialysis. Patients felt unprepared to receive organ offers, especially from IRDs. They desired information about IRD behaviors, kidney quality, and probability of undetected infection. Patients weighed the opinion of their nephrologist most heavily when deciding about organ offers. A brief education session about donor screening resulted in increased willingness to consider IRD kidneys.

Conclusions:  Lack of preparedness contributes to patient apprehension toward IRD organs. Ongoing transplant education seems necessary. The non-transplant nephrologist seems to be the most trusted source of information.