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Illuminating donor and recipient experiences in live kidney transplantation.

Gill, Paul. 2006. Illuminating donor and recipient experiences in live kidney transplantation. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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Live kidney transplants are a successful and efficient means of treating those with chronic renal failure. However, the procedure is associated with potential physical and psychosocial risks, such as operative complications and pressure to donate and receive. Recipients also often feel grateful, even 'indebted', to the donors and, consequently, this can affect their relationship with each other. Despite these issues, few studies have focused on the experiences of those involved in live transplantation. This study was, therefore, undertaken to provide an in-depth insight into this process from the participants' perspectives. Therefore, the aims of this qualitative, longitudinal study were to explore: The experiences of donors and recipients throughout the live transplantation process; The relevance of the anthropological theory of 'gift exchange' as a framework for exploring and understanding the live kidney transplantation process; How a theoretically informed insight into these experiences may be used to inform and develop future research and clinical practice. A qualitative, phenomenological approach was used to explore the experiences of 11 live kidney donors and their recipients in South-West England. Data were collected through a series of three semi-structured interviews, conducted pre- transplant and at three and ten months post-transplant. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and data coded into categories arising from participants' accounts. These findings were also considered within a theoretical framework of gift exchange. Live transplantation was the treatment of choice for all participants, especially recipients. All donors initially made an instantaneous, voluntary decision to donate and found the decision relatively easy to make. In contrast, recipients found accepting the donors' offer emotionally burdensome because of concern for their wellbeing. They were only really able to accept the transplant after discussing the matter with their donor and establishing that it was something that they really wanted to do. Recipients' lives were transformed by a successful transplant and they were subsequently very grateful to the donors for donating. Donors derived immense personal satisfaction from this outcome and it helped to confirm to them that what they had done had been worthwhile. However, the transplant rejected in one recipient and the effects of this failure were devastating. The provision of transplant services throughout this process were generally positively evaluated by participants, although several recommendations were suggested. Data from this study show that the experiences of participants interviewed, closely resembled the fundamental dynamics of the gift exchange process, thus supporting the hypothesis that this theory provides an appropriate framework for understanding the live transplantation process in these participants. The findings from this study have implications for clinical practice and future research in this area.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
ISBN: 9781303174698
Funders: School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, Cardiff University, Richmond Nursing, Llanelli
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2016 23:12

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