Article Abstract

Health-related quality of life of living liver donors 1 year after donation

Authors: Li-Chueh Weng, Hsiu-Li Huang, Wei-Chen Lee, Yu-Hsia Tsai, Woan-Shyuan Wang, Kang-Hua Chen


Background: Improving the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of living liver donors post-donation is an important aspect of care quality. Analyzing the HRQOL of living liver donors prospectively could help improve our understanding of the recovery of HRQOL and help improve the quality of donor care. In this study, we examined the HRQOL of living liver donors at pre-donation and at 1-year post-donation and analyzed the effect of pre- and post-donation factors on the donors’ physical and mental HRQOL.
Methods: This was a prospective study. During the enrollment period (August 2013 to December 2015), 68 living liver donors completed the study questionnaires 5 times: at pre-donation and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months post-donation. The Medical Outcomes Study Questionnaire Short Form-36, which yields both physical (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) scores, was used to measure the HRQOL. The pre- and post-donation factors included donation ambivalence, recipients’ physical condition, post-donation complications, and recipients’ survival status.
Results: Participants’ mean PCS scores were 43.59 and 56.50 at 1 and 12 months after donation, respectively, whereas their mean MCS scores were 46.89 and 46.28, respectively. The mean PCS score was worse at 1 month after donation but improved significantly over time (P<0.05); conversely, the MCS was quite stable over time (P>0.05). A good PCS score was associated with no surgical complications of donation (coefficient =2.87, P=0.02), whereas a poor MCS score was associated with an education of less than a bachelor’s degree (coefficient =−3.60, P=0.004), a higher Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score in the recipient (coefficient =−0.13, P=0.03), and recipient death (coefficient =−3.48, P=0.03). Pre-donation ambivalence and sense of coherence were not significant predictors of the PCS or MCS scores.
Conclusions: The impact of living liver donation on HRQOL was strongest in the early stages of the post-surgery period for the physical domain. Health-care professionals should carefully manage and monitor the progress of surgical outcomes, particularly in high-risk groups such as donors with a low education level or donors whose recipients have severe illness or end up dying after the surgery. Doing so may allow for suitable intervention opportunities to improve the HRQOL of living liver donors.