Combining transplant professional's psychosocial donor evaluation and donor self-report measures to optimise the prediction of HRQoL after kidney donation: an observational prospective multicentre study

Lieke Wirken, Henriët van Middendorp, Christina W. Hooghof, Jan-Stephan Sanders, Ruth Dam, Karlijn A. M. I. van der Pant, Judith Wierdsma, Hiske Wellink, Philip Ulrichts, Andries J. Hoitsma, Luuk B. Hilbrands, Andrea W. Evers

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OBJECTIVES: Living donor kidney transplantation is currently the preferred treatment for patients with end-stage renal disease. The psychosocial evaluation of kidney donor candidates relies mostly on the clinical viewpoint of transplant professionals because evidence-based guidelines for psychosocial donor eligibility are currently lacking. However, the accuracy of these clinical risk judgements and the potential added value of a systematic self-reported screening procedure are as yet unknown. The current study examined the effectiveness of the psychosocial evaluation by transplant professionals and the potential value of donor self-report measures in optimising the donor evaluation. Based on the stress-vulnerability model, the predictive value of predonation, intradonation and postdonation factors to impaired longer term health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of kidney donors was studied. DESIGN: An observational prospective multicentre study. SETTING: Seven Dutch transplantation centres. PARTICIPANTS: 588 potential donors participated, of whom 361 donated. Complete prospective data of 230 donors were available. Also, 1048 risk estimation questionnaires were completed by healthcare professionals. METHODS: Transplant professionals (nephrologists, coordinating nurses, social workers and psychologists) filled in risk estimation questionnaires on kidney donor candidates. Furthermore, 230 kidney donors completed questionnaires (eg, on HRQoL) before and 6 and 12 months after donation. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: HRQoL, demographic and preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative health characteristics, perceived support, donor cognitions, recipient functioning and professionals risk estimation questionnaires. RESULTS: On top of other predictors, such as the transplant professionals' risk assessments, donor self-report measures significantly predicted impaired longer term HRQoL after donation, particularly by poorer predonation physical (17%-28% explained variance) and psychological functioning (23%). CONCLUSIONS: The current study endorses the effectiveness of the psychosocial donor evaluation by professionals and the additional value of donor self-report measures in optimising the psychosocial evaluation. Consequently, systematic screening of donors based on the most prominent risk factors provide ground for tailored interventions for donors at risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e045249
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2022


  • mental health
  • nephrology
  • quality in health care
  • renal transplantation
  • risk management
  • transplant medicine

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