Paula Zimbrean, MD, FAPA, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Transplant Psychiatry Services at Yale New Haven Hospital, is the senior author of a paper published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research that reflects an expert consensus on the psychiatric assessment of altruistic non-directed kidney donors.
In the paper, the authors recommend that all potential altruistic kidney donors – donors who are not related to or known by the recipient – be referred for a mental health assessment before a transplant procedure is initiated. They say the screening referral should be made after an initial medical screening and clinical assessment, but before any invasive procedures are undertaken.
The assessment, according to the authors, would explore the potential donor’s motivation, resilience, and expectations about their donation. It would clarify the availability of emotional support and identify or confirm the absence of concurrent severe psycho-social stressors.
The paper was a collaboration between members of the European Association of Psychosomatic Medicine and the Academy of Consultation Psychiatry.