A Culturally Targeted Transplant Program to Increase Live Donation in Hispanics

Project: Research project



The shortage of organs for kidney transplantation for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is magnified in Hispanics/Latin Americans. Hispanics have a disproportionately higher prevalence of ESRD, yet receive fewer kidney transplants compared to non-Hispanic whites. Living donor kidney transplant (LDKT) is the treatment of choice for ESRD as it confers better patient and graft survival, shorter waiting time, and better quality of life than deceased donor kidney transplantation. However, compared to their representation on the waiting list, fewer Hispanics received a LDKT than non-Hispanic whites in 2013: 4% versus 10%. Barriers to LDKT for Hispanics include: lack of knowledge, cultural concerns, and language barriers. The disparity will likely worsen without intervention as Hispanics are the largest and fastest growing minority group in the US.
Few available culturally competent interventions have led to increased LDKT rates. Interventions rarely address Hispanic cultural concerns, and there are no published models of transplant center-based only programs. The Chicago Northwestern Medicine’s® Hispanic Kidney Transplant Program (HKTP), a culturally and linguistically competent program, has increased Hispanic LDKTs. The mean annual ratio of Hispanic to non-Hispanic white LDKTs grew from 0.20 in 2001-2006 to 0.34 in 2008-2013, a 70% increase (p<0.001).
The objective of this study is to implement and evaluate the HKTP, a culturally-competent transplant center-based intervention, at two transplant centers serving large Hispanic populations (Dallas, TX, and Los Angeles, CA), with Northwestern University serving as the Study Coordinating Center. The pre-post HKTP intervention study will evaluate the effect of the HKTP’s key culturally sensitive components (outreach, communication, education) on Hispanic LDKT rates, compared to matched controls. The specific aims are to:
1. Implement the HKTP at two transplant centers by conducting a needs assessment of barriers and using a “learning collaborative” model to deliver HKTP protocols, scripts, and materials.
2. Conduct a pre-post HKTP intervention evaluation with matched controls to assess if the HKTP is associated with an increase in: a) the ratio of Hispanic to non-Hispanic white LDKTs as a function of an absolute increase in Hispanic LDKTs, b) ESRD Hispanic patient additions to the waiting list, c) Hispanic potential donors per potential recipient, and d) Hispanic patients’ satisfaction with care.
3. Formatively evaluate the fidelity and innovative adaptations to HKTP’s outreach, communication, and education at both study sites to identify effective components of the HTKP, using mixed methods.
As an exploratory aim, a budget impact analysis will be conducted to construct a business case for transplant centers and permit estimates of HKTP scalability. The proposed study will provide valuable knowledge about the potential to rapidly disseminate the HKTP as a novel approach to increase Hispanic LDKTs nationally, improve health outcomes for Hispanics, and close the LDKT disparity gap.
Effective start/end date3/20/162/28/21


  • National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (5R01DK104876-03 REVISED)


Hispanic Americans
Living Donors
Chronic Kidney Failure
Waiting Lists
Kidney Transplantation
Tissue Donors