Motives and Decision Making of Potential Living Liver Donors: Comparisons Between Gender, Relationships and Ambivalence

Authors

  • A. DiMartini,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry
    2. Department of Transplantation Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
    3. Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
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  • R.J. Cruz Jr.,

    1. Department of Transplantation Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
    2. Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
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  • M. A. Dew,

    1. Department of Psychiatry
    2. Department of Psychology
    3. Department of Epidemiology
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  • M. G. Fitzgerald,

    1. Department of Psychiatry
    2. Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
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  • L. Chiappetta,

    1. Department of Psychiatry
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  • L. Myaskovsky,

    1. Department of Psychiatry
    2. Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
    3. Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA
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  • M. E. DeVera

    1. Department of Transplantation Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
    2. Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
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Andrea DiMartini, dimartiniaf@upmc.edu

Abstract

The motives and decision making of potential living liver donors are critical areas for transplant clinicians evaluating these candidates to understand, yet these topics remain relatively unstudied. Thus, we surveyed 77 prospective living liver donors at the point of donation evaluation using structured instruments to gather more information on their approach to and concerns about donation. We collected information on donation decision making, motives for donation and anticipated social and physical concerns about postdonation outcomes. We examined three additional characteristics of donors: gender, the relationship of the donor to the intended recipient and the presence of ambivalence about donation. Women had more concerns about their family/social responsibilities. Those donating to nonimmediate family were more likely to have been asked to donate but less likely to feel they had to donate. However, ambivalent donors were the most distinct having difficulties and concerns across most areas from their motivations for donating, to deciding to be tested and to donate, to concerns about the postdonation outcomes. We discuss the clinical relevance of these findings to donor evaluation and preparation.

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