Considering adult living donor liver transplantation: a qualitative study of patients and their potential donors



McGregor LM, Swanson V, Hayes PC, Forsythe JR & O'Carroll R (2010) Considering adult living donor liver transplantation: a qualitative study of patients and their potential donors. Psychology and Health, 25 (6), pp. 751-766.

In April 2006, the Scottish Liver Transplant Unit became the first NHS transplant unit in the UK to offer adult Living Donor Liver Transplantation (LDLT). However, within the first 21 months of its availability, no patients on the transplant waiting list had pursued this treatment option. A qualitative interview study was devised to elicit the views of patients and their families with regards to LDLT. Interviews were conducted with 21 patients and 20 potential donors. The main reason why recipients did not pursue LDLT was their perception of risk to their donor. The anticipated feelings of guilt if the donor was harmed, resulted in LDLT being rejected. However, despite this many recipients would possibly consider LDLT as a “last option”. For donors, considering becoming a donor was an automatic response, driven by their need to help their loved one survive. However, consideration of the effects of donating upon their own immediate family often superseded their wish to donate. Whilst donors need to be given time to consider the implications of LDLT upon their own lives, it is essential that recipients understand that LDLT cannot be a last option, in order to allow them to reconsider their options realistically.

living donors; liver transplantation; qualitative research; transplant recipients; Donation of organs, tissues, etc.; Organ donors; Liver transplantation; Transplantation of organs, tissues, etc.; Organ donors Scotland

Psychology and Health: Volume 25, Issue 6

Publication date31/07/2010

People (3)


Dr Lesley McGregor
Dr Lesley McGregor

Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Psychology

Professor Ronan O'Carroll
Professor Ronan O'Carroll

Professor, Psychology

Dr Vivien Swanson
Dr Vivien Swanson

Reader, Psychology

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