Anxiety, depression, and regret of donation in living kidney donors

Courtenay M. Holscher, Joseph Leanza, Alvin G. Thomas, Madeleine M. Waldram, Christine E. Haugen, Kyle R. Jackson, Sunjae Bae, Allan B. Massie, Dorry L. Segev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Previous studies have reported a wide range of prevalence of post-donation anxiety, depression, and regret in living kidney donors (LKDs). It is also unclear what risk factors are associated with these outcomes. Methods: We screened 825 LKDs for anxiety and depression using 2-item GAD-2 and PHQ-2 scales and asked about regret. Results: Overall, 5.5% screened positive for anxiety, 4.2% for depression, and 2.1% reported regretting their donation. While there was moderate correlation between positive anxiety and depression screens (r = 0.52), there was no correlation between regret and positive screens (r < 0.1 for both). A positive anxiety screen was more likely in LKDs with a positive depression screen (adjusted relative risk [aRR] 13.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] 6.78-27.74, p < 0.001). Similarly, a positive depression screen was more likely in LKDs with a positive anxiety screen (aRR 19.50, 95% CI 6.94-54.81, p < 0.001), as well as in those whose recipients experienced graft loss (aRR 5.38, 95% CI 1.29-22.32, p = 0.02). Regret was more likely in LKDs with a positive anxiety screen (aRR 5.68, 95% CI 1.20-26.90, p = 0.03). This was a single center cross-sectional study which may limit generalizability and examination of causal effects. Also, due to the low prevalence of adverse psychosocial outcomes, we may lack power to detect some associations between donor characteristics and anxiety, depression, or regret. Conclusions: Although there is a low prevalence of anxiety, depression, and regret of donation among LKDs, these are interrelated conditions and a positive screen for one condition should prompt evaluation for other conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number218
JournalBMC nephrology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 4 2018


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Donor follow-up
  • GAD-2
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Living donors
  • Mental health screening
  • PHQ-2
  • Psychiatric screening
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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