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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Camilla Nonterah


Objective: The present study asks: How does end stage renal disease (ESRD) and receiving a kidney transplant alter a person’s health identity? The term “health identities” refers to a phenomenon in which patients experience changes in identity in response to an illness and/or treatment. While previous literature has explored the subjective experiences of patients with ESRD (Seraji et al., 2018; Finnegan-John & Thomas, 2013), there are few studies that specifically focus on health identities in relation to renal transplant recipients (Forsberg et al., 2001). Method: Semi structured interviews were completed, with questions pertaining to body image, daily activities, and social roles. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, then analyzed within a phenomenological framework. Results: All seven participants expressed peripheral changes to their identity, such as their lifestyle, career, body image, and social roles, thereby suggesting that the phenomenon of “health identities” does indeed exist among renal transplant recipients. Conclusions: These results provide a new understanding of the mental and physical challenges associated with ESRD and kidney transplantation. The findings of this study may be used to inform future mental health counseling for patients experiencing kidney disease and/or transplantation.