Mental Health Among Living Kidney Donors: A Prospective Comparison With Matched Controls From the General Population
The impact of living kidney donation on donors' mental health has not been sufficiently nor comprehensively studied. Earlier studies demonstrated that mental health did not change in the majority of donors, however they often lacked a suitable control group and/or had other methodological limitations. Consequently, it remains unclear whether changes in mental health found among a minority of donors reflect normal fluctuations. In this study we matched 135 donors with individuals from the general Dutch population on gender and baseline mental health and compared changes in mental health over time. Mental health was measured using the Brief Symptom Inventory and Mental Health Continuum Short Form. Primary analyses compared baseline and 6 months follow-up. Secondary analyses compared baseline and 9 (controls) or 15 months (donors) follow-up. Primary multilevel regression analyses showed that there was no change in psychological complaints (p = 0.20) and wellbeing (p = 0.10) over time and donors and controls did not differ from one another in changes in psychological complaints (p = 0.48) and wellbeing (p = 0.85). Secondary analyses also revealed no difference in changes between the groups. We concluded that changes in mental health in the short term after donation do not significantly differ from normal fluctuations found in the Dutch general population.