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Kidney Week

Abstract: SA-PO809

Opportunities to Leverage Personal Networks to Increase Living Donor Kidney Transplant

Session Information

Category: Transplantation

  • 2002 Transplantation: Clinical


  • Eaton, Karen-Marie, Davita Clinical Research, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • O'Shea, Michael H., DaVita Inc, Denver, Colorado, United States
  • Brunelli, Steven M., Davita Clinical Research, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Tentori, Francesca, Davita Clinical Research, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Living donor kidney transplant (LDKT) offers patients another treatment option for kidney failure. In this study, we sought to understand dialysis patients’ and care partners’ knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes toward transplant and living donation.


A total of 38 participants were interviewed by phone between May and August 2021. Interviews ranged in time from 10-45 minutes and included a spectrum of participants including dialysis patients and members of their care team. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim (Figure 1); responses were analyzed separately using inductive thematic analysis.


The study found that almost all patients and care partners had discussed transplant with their dialysis care team, and that patients perceived LDKT as superior to both deceased donation and dialysis - leading to longer life and better clinical outcomes. Although LDKT was discussed, the amount of retained/detailed knowledge was inconsistent among patients, often leading to misperceptions of the process. Of the few patients who had a negative perception of transplant, all cited knowing someone who had a poor outcome. When it came to having LDKT discussions with potential donors, 42% of participants had broached the subject; of those, most conversations were with a close relative. Patients and care partners tended to rely heavily on potential donors volunteering to be tested instead of proactively seeking a donor from personal networks.


Families are not always skilled in leveraging all resources to identify potential donors and patients/care givers could use assistance crafting their donor pitch as well as a viable strategy to leverage personal and extended networks.