Living kidney donors – a prospective study of quality of life before and after kidney donation


  • Conflict of interest: None.

Corresponding author: Maria Fernanda Cordeiro Carvalho, Department of Internal Medicine, UNESP, Univ Estadual Paulista, Rubião Jr, s/n, Botucatu/SP 18.618-970, Brazil.

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Although the safety of living kidney donation has been well established, prospective studies examining the physical and psychosocial aspects of the donor's quality of life are still scarce. Thus, the purpose of this prospective work was to assess the quality of life of 50 consecutive donors before and after kidney transplantation. All donors were asked to respond to both a donor questionnaire and the short-form 36-item health survey (SF-36). Interviews were individually conducted before, three months after, and over one yr after transplantation. Donation was considered a positive experience by all patients and had no impact on any physical or psychosocial aspect of the donor's life. Improved self-esteem and better quality of life after donation were reported in 52% of the cases. All donors would donate again and encouraged donation. SF-36 data indicated improvement in post-donation mental and physical scores among living donors closely related to recipient. Overall, most donors had a positive experience, felt no changes in quality of life, experienced enhanced self-esteem, would donate again, and recommended donation.