Strategies for Increasing Knowledge, Communication, and Access to Living Donor Transplantation: an Evidence Review to Inform Patient Education

Heather F. Hunt, James R. Rodrigue, Mary Amanda Dew, Randolph L. Schaffer, Macey L. Henderson, Randee Bloom, Patrick Kacani, Pono Shim, Lee Bolton, William Sanchez, Krista L. Lentine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Inadequate knowledge of the benefits, risks, and opportunities for living donation is an important, potentially modifiable barrier to living donor transplantation. We assessed the current state of the evidence regarding strategies to increase knowledge, communication, and access to living donor transplantation, as reported in peer-reviewed medical literature. Recent Findings: Nineteen studies were reviewed, categorized as programs evaluated in randomized controlled trials (8 studies) and programs supported by observational (non-randomized) studies (11 studies). Content extraction demonstrated that comprehensive education about living donation and living donor transplantation involves multiple learners—the transplant candidate, potential living donors, and social support networks—and requires communicating complex information about the risks and benefits of donation, transplantation, and alternative therapies to these different audiences. Transplant centers can help patients learn about living donor transplantation through a variety of formats and modalities, including center-based, home-based, and remote technology-based education, outreach to dialysis centers, and social media. Evaluation of these strategies and program themes informed a new Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN)/United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) public education brochure. Summary: Increasing transplant candidate knowledge and comfort in talking about living donation and transplantation can reduce educational barriers to pursuit of living donor transplants. Ongoing efforts are needed to develop, refine, and disseminate educational programs to help improve transplant access for more patients in need of organ donors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-44
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent Transplantation Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Decision-making
  • Health education
  • Living donor transplantation
  • Living organ donation
  • Patient education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Surgery
  • Hepatology
  • Nephrology
  • Immunology


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