Assessing the attitudes and perceptions regarding the use of mobile health technologies for living kidney donor follow-up: Survey study

Ann K. Eno, Alvin G. Thomas, Jessica M. Ruck, Sarah E. Van Pilsum Rasmussen, Samantha E. Halpern, Madeleine M. Waldram, Abimereki D. Muzaale, Tanjala S. Purnell, Allan B. Massie, Jacqueline M. Garonzik Wang, Krista L. Lentine, Dorry L. Segev, Macey L. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: In 2013, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network began requiring transplant centers in the United States to collect and report postdonation living kidney donor follow-up data at 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years. Despite this requirement, <50% of transplant centers have been able to collect and report the required data. Previous work identified a number of barriers to living kidney donor follow-up, including logistical and administrative barriers for transplant centers and cost and functional barriers for donors. Novel smartphone-based mobile health (mHealth) technologies might reduce the burden of living kidney donor follow-up for centers and donors. However, the attitudes and perceptions toward the incorporation of mHealth into postdonation care among living kidney donors are unknown. Understanding donor attitudes and perceptions will be vital to the creation of a patient-oriented mHealth system to improve living donor follow-up in the United States. Objective: The goal of this study was to assess living kidney donor attitudes and perceptions associated with the use of mHealth for follow-up. Methods: We developed and administered a cross-sectional 14-question survey to 100 living kidney donors at our transplant center. All participants were part of an ongoing longitudinal study of long-term outcomes in living kidney donors. The survey included questions on smartphone use, current health maintenance behaviors, accessibility to health information, and attitudes toward using mHealth for living kidney donor follow-up. Results: Of the 100 participants surveyed, 94 owned a smartphone (35 Android, 58 iPhone, 1 Blackberry), 37 had accessed their electronic medical record on their smartphone, and 38 had tracked their exercise and physical activity on their smartphone. While 77% (72/93) of participants who owned a smartphone and had asked a medical question in the last year placed the most trust with their doctors, nurses, or other health care professionals regarding answering a health-related question, 52% (48/93) most often accessed health information elsewhere. Overall, 79% (74/94) of smartphone-owning participants perceived accessing living kidney donor information and resources on their smartphone as useful. Additionally, 80% (75/94) perceived completing some living kidney donor follow-up via mHealth as useful. There were no significant differences in median age (60 vs 59 years; P=.65), median years since donation (10 vs 12 years; P=.45), gender (36/75, 36%, vs 37/75, 37%, male; P=.57), or race (70/75, 93%, vs 18/19, 95%, white; P=.34) between those who perceived mHealth as useful for living kidney donor follow-up and those who did not, respectively. Conclusions: Overall, smartphone ownership was high (94/100, 94.0%), and 79% (74/94) of surveyed smartphone-owning donors felt that it would be useful to complete their required follow-up with an mHealth tool, with no significant differences by age, sex, or race. These results suggest that patients would benefit from an mHealth tool to perform living donor follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere11192
JournalJMIR mHealth and uHealth
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Follow-up
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Living kidney donor
  • Mobile phone
  • mHealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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