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Culturally-adapted Strategies to Enhance Kidney Donation in Native Communities

End-stage kidney disease disproportionately affects American Indians. National statistics document that for American Indians, the prevalence of end-stage kidney disease is 3.5 times higher than for White Americans. Despite similar referral rates for kidney transplants, American Indians are less likely than Whites to be placed on a transplant waiting list or to receive a transplant. In 2007, NIDDK funded six academic centers, including ours at the University of Washington, to test ways to increase organ donation in minority populations. We conducted a mixed-methods study that revealed cultural beliefs and barriers to organ donation among rural American Indians. Findings from that study informed our current strategy to conduct a multi-level intervention with tribal dialysis centers and American Indian patients awaiting organ transplants.


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