Aims: This study examined the long-term quality of life (QOL) of living liver donors (LLDs) in Japan using both generic and LLD-specific instruments. Methods: The sample comprised 374 LLDs from five university hospitals in Japan who underwent surgery more than a year previously. QOL was evaluated using the Short Form-36 health survey (SF-36) and LLD-QOL scale. Results: SF-36 results indicated that the overall long-term QOL of LLDs was significantly better than the Japanese standard. When comparing by donor factors, LLDs whose recipients were children scored higher for “satisfaction” than those whose recipients were adults on the LLD-QOL scale. LLDs with complications had lower QOL for “scars” and “burden” on the LLD-QOL scale but no differences in SF-36 scores. LLDs with longer hospital stay had lower physical QOL on SF-36 and lower QOL for “scars” and “after-effects” on the LLD-QOL scale. LLDs whose recipients have died showed lower mental QOL on SF-36 and lower “satisfaction” and greater “lack of understanding of donor health” on the LLD-QOL scale. Conclusions: Our multicenter study clarified the long-term QOL of LLDs and suggested that donors’ QOL was related to the donors’ and recipients’ ages, donor's complications and hospital stay length, and recipient's prognosis.
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