Living kidney donor decision making and communication

Sandi W. Smith, Samantha Nazione, Carolyn Laplante, Rose Clark-Hitt, Hee Sun Park, Randall Sung, Alan Leichtman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


There is high demand for kidney donors in the United States, and it is widely accepted that living donation is optimal for individuals who need a kidney. Much research has focused on the potential recipient, but little has been studied about the communication and decision making of living kidney donors. Interviews assessed the communication and decision-making processes of 43 kidney donor volunteers. Almost all of the participants were not asked, but instead volunteered, to donate. The majority of donors reported having conversations with the recipient and speaking about their decisions with other individuals in their social networks besides the recipient. Some participants said that they stopped talking to others because of negative feedback. Future research should further examine the communication of donors with non-recipient others and potential methods of training recipients and donors to communicate effectively about the donation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)870-888
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences


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