Patient preferences and decision making about organ quality in liver transplantation

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As most are aware, there is a limited supply of organs available for liver transplantation. Moreover, the available organs vary widely in their risk of graft failure. The decision whether to accept a higher risk organ, or wait for a better one, is complex and depends in part on patient preferences. The aim of this study is to elicit patient preferences about risk of graft failure and to explore factors that influence these preferences.

The study consists of a one-time web-based survey administered at the time of the subject’s liver transplant clinic visit. Most patients on the waiting list for liver transplantation are eligible to participate. Preference for risk of graft failure is elicited by an interactive pictograph. Factors hypothesized to influence these preferences include the patient’s current quality of life, trust in the transplant system, and the emotional impact of waiting, among others.