Research explores organ donation

Research explores organ donation

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RESEARCH is being undertaken on how living organ donors from rural Australia can be better supported as they undergo a potentially life-saving surgery.

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RESEARCH is being undertaken on how living organ donors from rural Australia can be better supported as they undergo a potentially life-saving surgery.

University of South Australia research student Alison Barrett is looking for living organ donors from rural areas across Australia to take part in the study and share their experiences with her. 

Her study aims to gain a better understanding of the experiences who people live in a rural, regional or remote area of Australia and choose to donate a kidney or partial liver; and to identify ways in which support services could be improved or developed to help them cope better with their medical, social, emotional, financial and practical needs.

The work is supported by Professor Ian Olver, Dr Kate Gunn and rural organ recipient, Megan McLoughlin.

“Donating a kidney or partial liver to someone in need of this, potentially, life-saving act is a major life event and if you reside in a rural area, it is likely to result in additional burdens due to the concentration of specialist transplant services in major metropolitan centres,” she said. “Research indicates that rural living organ donors usually need to relocate or travel to urban areas to access specialist services and therefore experience significant travel and accommodation costs. However, there has been limited research on the social and emotional impact of this process.”

The inspiration for the research came from rural living organ donor charity Herd of Hope, which undertook a cattle drive from rural Australia to Bondi Beach to fundraise for research last year.

Participation in the study involves taking part in an audiotaped interview, which should take about 45 minutes. 

  • Details: Alison.barrett@mymail.unisa.edu.au or 0400 033 625.
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