Florence Nightingale Journal of Nursing
Research Article

Exploration Into Donor-Recipient Relationship After Living-Donor Liver Transplantation Using Gift-Exchange Theory


Department of Surgical Nursing, Dokuz Eylül University, Faculty of Nursing, İzmir, Turkey


Department of Nursing, İzmir University of Economics, Faculty of Health Science, İzmir, Turkey


Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Program, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing, Bethesda, USA

Florence Nightingale J Nurs 2021; 29: 150-157
DOI: 10.5152/FNJN.2021.20065
Read: 240 Downloads: 94 Published: 01 June 2021

AIM: This qualitative study aimed to explore the donor-recipient relationships following living-donor liver transplantation.

METHOD: A 1-time cross-sectional qualitative interview was conducted with liver transplant recipients (n = 17) and living liver donors (n = 11) post-transplant. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed manually by using thematic content analysis.

RESULTS: The mean age of the recipients and the donors was 54.41 ± 8.0 (range 39–71) and 36.6 ± 7.69 (range 28–57) years, respectively. Following the interviews, 2 overarching themes emerged: (1) Became care providers, and (2) differentiation in relationships after transplantation. A total of 3 sub-themes were explained under “differentiation in relationships after transplantation;” feeling guilty, becoming closer and more intense owing to a feeling of indebtedness, and putting some distance owing to a feeling of indebtedness.

CONCLUSION: The study focused on the reciprocation stage according to gift-exchange theory. During reciprocation, although recipients expressed positive feelings such as gratitude, closer relationships, and special bonds; they also reported negative feelings like guilt and indebtedness resulting in a purposeful distancing from their donors. Most donors understood what the recipients felt, but they wanted their relationship to return to normal. Married female donors had worse experiences, such as divorce or a weakened marital relationship after donation.

Cite this article as: Sarıgöl Ordin, Y., Karayurt, Ö., Aksu Kul, G., Kılıç, M., & Taylor, L. A. (2021). Exploration into donor-recipient relationship after living-donor liver transplantation using gift-exchange theory. Florence Nightingale J Nurs, 29(2), 150-157.

EISSN 2687-6442