Pediatric Nephrology

, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 1357–1363 | Cite as

Psychosocial evaluation of candidates for living related kidney donation

  • Kimberly Sterner
  • Nataliya ZelikovskyEmail author
  • Cynthia Green
  • Bernard S. Kaplan
Editorial Commentary


Living kidney donation has raised practical and ethical questions since renal transplantation became possible 50 years ago. Nevertheless, living donors are a common source for badly needed organs in the pediatric population. The safety and well being of the living donor are important concerns. Among the risks of living donation are those of a psychological and social nature. To protect these donor interests, psychosocial evaluations of donors are done at some transplant centers, but there is a lack of consistency regarding standardization of the evaluation, the content of the evaluation, and the role of the interviewer. Goals of the overall living donor evaluation for kidney transplantation at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the components of the psychosocial evaluation protocol in particular, are presented. The protocol’s strengths are discussed, including the standardization of evaluations for all potential donors; the broad spectrum of psychosocial domains assessed; the psychometric measures administered; the systematic handling of negative results and some donors’ desire to opt out; and the protection of confidentiality. Future directions with regard to long-term psychosocial outcomes and research protocols are discussed.


Living related kidney donation Psychosocial evaluation Bioethical issues Organ transplant 


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Copyright information

© IPNA 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimberly Sterner
    • 1
  • Nataliya Zelikovsky
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cynthia Green
    • 1
  • Bernard S. Kaplan
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Nephrology, The Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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