Living Kidney Donation Stories and Advice Shared Through a Digital Storytelling Library: A Qualitative Thematic Analysis

La Shara Davis, Yaquelin Arevalo Iraheta, Erica W. Ho, Ariana L. Murillo, Ashley Feinsinger, Amy D. Waterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Rationale & Objective: Despite the development of numerous educational interventions, there has been limited change in actual living donor kidney transplant (LDKT) rates over time. New strategies, such as the inclusion of patient stories in patient education, show promise to inspire more people to donate kidneys. This study identified the challenges faced, coping strategies used, and advice shared by transplant donors and recipients. Study Design: Qualitative thematic analysis. Setting & Participants: One hundred eighteen storytellers across the United States and Canada, including 82 living donors and 36 kidney recipients of living donor transplants who shared their stories on the Living Donation Storytelling Project (, an online digital storytelling platform and library. Analytical Approach: A poststorytelling survey assessed participant demographics. Two coders conducted tool-assisted (Dedoose v.8.3.35) thematic analysis on narrative storytelling videos and transcripts. Results: Storytellers were predominantly White (79/118, 66.95%), female (76/118, 64.41%), and non-Hispanic (109/118, 92.37%) with college/vocational education (50/118, 42.37%). Common themes were found related to living donation challenges for donors and recipients (eg, the fear of not being able to complete the LDKT process, of unsupportive family or rejected donation requests, and of unknown or adverse surgical outcomes and graft rejection) and recommended coping strategies (eg, seeking LDKT information, using prayer, and relying on a support network). Recipients provided advice that included being proactive and staying hopeful, whereas donors recommended seeking support, researching LDKT to comprehensively learn, and building a community of support. Limitations: Limited representation of diverse demographics. Conclusions: Although supplementary to traditional education about LDKT, digital storytelling provides a source of peer support that can enhance the experience of donors and recipients and encourage autonomy and self-management after transplant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100486
Pages (from-to)100486
JournalKidney Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Kidney transplantation
  • adaptation
  • living donors
  • narration
  • patient education as topic
  • psychological
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Nephrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Living Kidney Donation Stories and Advice Shared Through a Digital Storytelling Library: A Qualitative Thematic Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this