Attitudes, psychology, and risk taking of potential live kidney donors: Strangers, relatives, and the general public

L. Ebony Boulware, Lloyd E. Ratner, Misty U. Troll, Alexis Chaudron, Edwina Yeung, Shirley Chen, Andrew S. Klein, Janet Hiller, Neil R. Powe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


It is unclear whether potential living kidney donors and the general public differ in attitudes and psychological characteristics. We performed a case-control study to explore differences in these groups using a standardized questionnaire (analyzed using conditional logistic regression). Strangers (N = 42) were more willing than controls (N = 126) to incur risks: 64% strangers versus 35% controls accepting >50% medical complications (MC) risk; 90% strangers versus 61% controls accepting >8 days hospitalization; 71% strangers versus 43% controls accepting >3 months unpaid; 55% strangers versus 16% controls accepting 100% kidney failure (KF) risk; 70% strangers versus 34% controls accepting ≤10% likelihood of successful transplant (all p < 0.01). Relatives (N = 251) were also more willing than controls (N = 251) to incur risks. Strangers were most willing to incur MC, KF and transplant failure. Groups did not differ in attitudes, depression or anxiety. Potential stranger and related donors are willing to undergo greater risks with donation than the general public, but do not differ in other attitudes, depression or anxiety. This should help reassure transplant centers and the public that both forms of live donation do not necessarily involve increased ethical risks of donor coercion or irrational thought processes. Still, careful attention to communication of all risks of donation is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1671-1680
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • General public attitudes
  • Live kidney donation
  • Related donation
  • Stranger donation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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