Living donors’ experiences

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The goal of the study was to synthesize current knowledge of living kidney, liver, and stem cell donors’ experiences -- particularly related to the meaning of or reasons for being a donor. Meta-ethnographic methods were used. Forty-one qualitative studies from 1968 to 2016 that fulfilled the inclusion criteria were analyzed. The studies comprised experiences of over 670 donors. A majority of the studies, 25 of 41, were on living kidney donors.
Time to detection: 
Time since donation varied from 2 days to 29 years.
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Suggest new keywords: 
living donation, meaning of donation
Suggest references: 
The Meaning of Being a Living Kidney, Liver, or Stem Cell Donor-A Meta-Ethnography. Kisch et al. Transplantation. 2018 May;102(5):744-756
Expert comments for publication: 
The synthesis revealed that the essential meaning of being a donor is doing what one feels one has to do, involving 6 themes; A sense of responsibility, loneliness and abandonment, suffering, pride and gratitude, a sense of togetherness, and a life changing event. The authors suggest the following for all living donors: • Psychological screening before and after donation to be able to support the donor throughout the donation process. • Provide a clear and reliable timeline of the evaluation process, as well as regular feedback on results and tests. • Provide information based on the donor’s perceptions and preferences. • Before donation, all donors should be given the opportunity of meeting other donors who have already made their donation, to share experiences. • The donor should be acknowledged for the donation by the healthcare professionals. • Donor follow-up appointments or counselling should be mandatory after donation. • Recipients of unspecified donors should be encouraged by the transplant team to send a “thank you card” anonymously.