From donation to every day life: Living kidney donors’ experiences three months after donation

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SUMMARY: Background: As the number of patients with end stage kidney disease continues to rise internationally, living kidney donation remains a favourable treatment option. Long waiting times on dialysis can be avoided and short and long-term outcomes are better, when compared with deceased donor transplantation. Living kidney donation is a safe procedure for healthy individuals who have completed a rigorous screening programme. Significant experiences can occur during the recovery period. Objective: To investigate donors' experiences of donation and their recovery period, in the first three months after donation. Materials and Methods: The study took a phenomenological-hermeneutic approach. Open interviews were conducted three months after donation. Data were interpreted and discussed in accordance with Ricoeur's text interpretation theory on three levels: naïve reading, structural analysis and critical interpretation and discussion. Findings: The donation process was experienced as an 'expedition', including preparations, the operation, recovery and everyday life. Positive feelings were challenging to describe; however health troubles and vulnerability were evident. A closer relationship and a need to follow the recipient's progress implied that patient and donor felt they were a part of each other. Support from relatives was important but could also be a burden. Conclusion: The kidney donation process is experienced as being like on an expedition, involving positive feelings, vulnerability, a closer patient-donor relationship and challenges around family relationships. It is essential that nurses are aware of the complexity of the situation and focus on the impact of the process, to support and facilitate donors' needs.

TidsskriftJournal of Renal Care
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)43–52
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2016


  • Living Kidney donation


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