Identifying potential kidney donors using social networking web sites

Alexander Chang, Emily E. Anderson, Hang T. Turner, David Shoham, Susan H. Hou, Morgan Grams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Social networking sites like Facebook may be a powerful tool for increasing rates of live kidney donation. They allow for wide dissemination of information and discussion and could lessen anxiety associated with a face-to-face request for donation. However, sparse data exist on the use of social media for this purpose. We searched Facebook, the most popular social networking site, for publicly available English-language pages seeking kidney donors for a specific individual, abstracting information on the potential recipient, characteristics of the page itself, and whether potential donors were tested. In the 91 pages meeting inclusion criteria, the mean age of potential recipients was 37 (range: 2-69); 88% were US residents. Other posted information included the individual's photograph (76%), blood type (64%), cause of kidney disease (43%), and location (71%). Thirty-two percent of pages reported having potential donors tested, and 10% reported receiving a live-donor kidney transplant. Those reporting donor testing shared more potential recipient characteristics, provided more information about transplantation, and had higher page traffic. Facebook is already being used to identify potential kidney donors. Future studies should focus on how to safely, ethically, and effectively use social networking sites to inform potential donors and potentially expand live kidney donation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E320-E326
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Facebook
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Live kidney donation
  • Living donors
  • Social media
  • Social networking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


Dive into the research topics of 'Identifying potential kidney donors using social networking web sites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this