Changes in Mental Health Among Living Kidney Donors After Donation: a Matched Control Study


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


Background It is unclear whether living kidney donors experience psychological burden as a result of their donation. Research is hampered by the lack of a suitable control group: changes in mental health could reflect normal fluctuations. We used a control group from the general population to compare changes in mental health over time. Methods Controls were matched with 125 living kidney donors on gender and baseline mental health. Donors and controls completed the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and Mental Health Continuum twice, 6 months apart. Donors donated their kidney median 3 months after baseline. Multilevel linear models were used as well as the reliable change index (RCI) of the BSI. Findings Multilevel modelling showed that donors and controls did not differ in changes of mental health over time. Based on the RCI, 2 donors versus 4 controls showed a decrease in psychological complaints and 10 donors versus 5 controls showed an increase. RCI changes were not significantly different between donors and controls. Discussion We conclude that changes in donors’ mental health 3 months after donation do not significantly differ from natural fluctuations found in the general population.






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