Feinberg study shows bilingual website raises awareness of kidney donations for Hispanics, Latinos

Peter Kotecki, Assistant Campus Editor

A new bilingual website increased Hispanic and Latino individuals’ knowledge about kidney donations and transplantation, a study from Northwestern Medicine and the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois found.

The website, Informate.org, was launched to help Hispanics and Latinos with kidney failure and their families learn about options, risks and benefits of kidney transplants in an effort to help patients make informed decisions.

Patients who receive living donor kidney transplants usually live longer than those with kidney transplants from deceased donors. Proportionally, fewer Hispanics and Latinos receive living donor kidney transplants than non-Hispanic whites, despite being 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to get end-stage kidney disease.

Feinberg Prof. Elisa Gordon, lead author of the report, said many Hispanics don’t pursue living donations because they are unaware of the possibility.

“We created Informate.org to help Hispanic/Latino patients and their families learn what their options are,” Gordon said in a news release.

Gordon said Informate.org can be used to complement the education provided by transplant centers. More than 280 adults with kidney failure — as well as their family members attending transplant education programs at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and University of California, Davis, Medical Center — tested the website.

Informate.org includes video clips, interactive modules, fact sheets and photographs. The website also describes risks and benefits of living and deceased kidney donation, financial programs supporting living donors and policies on transplantation of immigrants.

Feinberg Prof. Juan Carlos Caicedo, co-author of the report and director of the Hispanic transplant program at Northwestern Memorial, said most living kidney donors recover well from surgery despite the risks associated with living kidney donation.

“Our hope is Informate.org will empower individuals to explore their options and take control of their health,” said Anne Black, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois.

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