Predictors of Change in Donors’ Mental Health Three Months After Living Kidney Donation


  • L. Timmerman
  • M. Laging
  • R. Timman
  • W. Zuidema
  • D. Beck
  • J. IJzermans
  • M. Betjes
  • J. van Busschbach
  • W. Weimar
  • E. Massey


Background In order to optimize screening and support of living kidney donors, we examined which factors predict changes in donors’ mental health after living kidney donation. Methods Living kidney donors (N=137) completed validated questionnaires and participated in interviews a median of 2 months before and 3 months after donation. Using multilevel linear models we examined whether psychological complaints and wellbeing were predicted by sociodemographic characteristics, medical outcomes for donor and recipient, and psychological factors based on stress models of Lazarus (1999) and Ursin & Eriksen (2004). Findings There was no main effect of time on psychological complaints while wellbeing increased over time (p<.01). Donors’ home situation, greater stress, appraising donation as an uncontrollable or negative event, expectations of negative personal consequences, coping, social support, and more negative life events predicted negative changes in donors’ mental health. Medical outcomes were not related to changes in donors’ mental health. Discussion We recommend negative appraisals of donation and individual resources as targets for improved donor screening and support.






Oral presentations