Livingdonors.org #1 source for Information on Living Kidney Donation

New York, NY
July 20, 2007

The National Kidney Foundation has the most popular and comprehensive Web site about living kidney donation, according to a recent report in Kidney International. Livingdonors.org was ranked as the #1 site in terms of coverage, accuracy, and quality.

The study’s researchers identified Web sites that provide information about living kidney donation by plugging keywords into search engines, then narrowed the analysis to 86 sites. They assessed which Web sites were visited most frequently, and asked two reviewers to independently review the quality of the information on each site.

The National Kidney Foundation Web site, www.livingdonors.org was the most visited living kidney donation site. The site also received a grade of 4.5 out of 5 for the general quality of the information, and the authors determined it provided the “best information” about living donation. Other popular Web sites include AISH.com, the National Institutes of Health Web site, and the site for the Mayo Clinic. Most sites were affiliated with a university or hospital transplant program.

Less than half of the evaluated sites indicated when the information was last revised – a concern, the authors note, since researchers are constantly providing new data on living donations.

Almost all of the sites were written at a level above public comprehension, generally considered to be at fifth grade level. Only three sites targeted their content to below a sixth grade level.

The information on each site was largely accurate, but six out of ten sites failed to mention the benefits of living donation to donors, and the fact that living donation is purely voluntary. And less than half mentioned long-term risks associated with donation or the need for regular medical follow-ups.

“People who contact transplant centers about living donation may have already decided they’d like to donate, meaning that, for many, the internet may be the sole source of information about the process,” says Joseph Vassalotti, MD, National Kidney Foundation Chief Medical Officer.

“This makes it all the more important that people have access to accurate Web information. The National Kidney Foundation is honored to be rated as the most popular and comprehensive site for information about living kidney donation. Providing quality information to potential organ donors is of paramount importance to us and we will continue to upgrade the site and improve the reading level so that it meets the educational needs of potential donors,” continues Vassalotti.