"I want your kidney!" Information seeking, sharing, and disclosure when soliciting a kidney donor online

Kaitlin Light Costello, Angela P. Murillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: This study investigates how people use the Internet to search for an altruistic kidney donor. Although many opinion pieces on this phenomenon have been written, this is the first qualitative study focused on online kidney solicitation from the potential recipient's point of view. Methods: Eight participants - four who successfully found donors and four who were still searching - were interviewed, and inductive content analysis was performed. Results: Three themes appear in our data: choosing to go online to find a donor, information hubs, and information flow. These themes emphasize the process of information seeking and disclosure when using the Internet to find an altruistic kidney donor. Conclusion: The benefits from searching online are not limited to the possibility of finding a kidney donor. Our participants also experience a wide variety of socially supportive activities from their online networks. Additionally, our participants felt that the potential benefits of finding a donor online outweighed risks to their privacy. Practice implications: Not all potential recipients will find a kidney donor online. Participants indicated that through sharing educational information, staying positive, and actively maintaining their online solicitation efforts they received numerous social benefits even if they did not find a kidney donor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-426
Number of pages4
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


  • Altruistic kidney donors
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Information seeking
  • Online disclosure
  • Social support


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