Impact of Social Vulnerability on Access to Educational Programming Designed to Enhance Living Donation

Academic Article


  • Introduction: Transplant candidate participation in the Living Donor Navigator Program is associated with an increased likelihood of achieving living donor kidney transplantation; yet not every transplant candidate participates in navigator programming. Research Question: We sought to assess interest and ability to participate in the Living Donor Navigator Program by the degree of social vulnerability. Design: Eighty-two adult kidney-only candidates initiating evaluation at our center provided Likert-scaled responses to survey questions on interest and ability to participate in the Living Donor Navigator Program. Surveys were linked at the participant-level to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Social Vulnerability Index and county health rankings and overall social vulnerability and subthemes, individual barriers, telehealth capabilities/ knowledge, interest, and ability to participate were assessed utilizing nonparametric Wilcoxon ranks sums tests, chi-square, and Fisher's exact tests. Results: Participants indicating distance as a barrier to participation in navigator programming lived approximately 82 miles farther from our center. Disinterested participants lived in areas with the highest social vulnerability, higher physical inactivity rates, lower college education rates, and higher uninsurance (lack of insurance) and unemployment rates. Similarly, participants without a computer, who never heard of telehealth, and who were not encouraged to participate in telehealth resided in areas of highest social vulnerability. Conclusion: These data suggest geography combined with being from under-resourced areas with high social vulnerability was negatively associated with health care engagement. Geography and poverty may be surrogates for lower health literacy and fewer health care interactions.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Carter AJ; Reed RD; Kale AC; Qu H; Kumar V; Hanaway MJ; Cannon RM; Locke JE
  • Start Page

  • 305
  • End Page

  • 313
  • Volume

  • 31
  • Issue

  • 4