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The meaning of coping, which can be affected by the nature and type of stress and by individuals’ background and culture, has not been studied in the context of specific stress conditions, such as kidney transplant.The present study aims to explore the meaning of coping for kidney transplant recipients.Purposeful sampling was employed for this hermeneutic phenomenological study. Participants were nine kidney transplant recipients who had received treatment at specialised hospital centres in Mashhad and Ahwaz, Iran, in 2013. Data were collected from unstructured interviews and analysed using Van Manen’s approach.From 10 sub-themes emerged 4 major themes characterising the meaning of coping with renal transplantation: intelligent acceptance of changes, understanding the necessity of self-care, enduring, and understanding supportive encouragement.The meaning of coping for kidney transplant recipients in Iran encompasses a wide range of cognitive, behavioural, psychological, spiritual and social dimensions. Relying on God’s eternal power and on imams emerged as major dimensions of the meaning of coping.