Health-Related Quality of Life of Living Kidney Donors

  • Ja Hyeon Ku
  • Hyeon Hoe Kim
Reference work entry


Kidney transplantation provides improvement in both the length and quality of life (QOL) in patients receiving dialysis. The kidneys used for transplantation are currently obtained from either cadavers or living donors. However, the demand for cadaver organs far exceeds the supply. The shortage of organs and the steadily growing waiting time for a cadaver kidney transplantation have forced the medical community to look for alternatives, such as living kidney donation. Because of the better outcome with the living grafts for the recipients compared to the cadaver transplants, living donor programs have been expanding. The benefits of living donor transplantation have been well documented. In addition, patients have an extensive medical work-up that not infrequently identifies occult medical problems, a boost in self-esteem and an increased sense of well-being. Furthermore, living kidney donation has not been shown to have a detrimental effect on the physical or psychological well-being of donors. However, available data examining the health-related QOL issues of living donors are currently limited. Although there is no consensus on the “gold standard” instrument to measure QOL in this population, to date, the SF-36 has been widely used to measure the QOL of living kidney donors. Most studies have suggested that living kidney donors have similar or higher scores on the QOL questionnaires compared with the healthy general population. The evolution of surgical techniques used for transplantation including the mini-incision and laparoscopy has made living kidney donation a more attractive option for patients and their potential donors. In addition, several variables have been proposed as an influencing the QOL of living kidney donors but these factors are not conclusive. Careful donor selection, with appropriate pre-transplantation psychiatric consulting as well as regular post-donation psychosocial screening and the provision of specific interventions to those in need are recommended for a successful living kidney donor program.


Physical Component Summary Mental Component Summary Kidney Donor Donor Nephrectomy Live Kidney Donor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


mental component summary


physical component summary


quality of life


short-form 36


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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ja Hyeon Ku
  • Hyeon Hoe Kim

There are no affiliations available

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