Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test a hypothesis explaining direct and indirect relationships among the factors affecting self-care behaviors of kidney transplant patients, based on self-determination theory. Methods: Data were collected from 222 outpatients with kidney transplantation. The endogenous and exogenous variables of the hypothetical model consisted of healthcare provider's autonomy support, duration after kidney transplantation, basic psychological need satisfaction, autonomous and controlled motivation, depression, and self-care behaviors. Collected data were analyzed using SPSS/WIN 24.0 and AMOS 24.0. Results: The hypothetical model demonstrated a good fit: RMSEA=.06, SRMR=.04, TLI=.94, CFI=.97. Statistically significant explanatory variables for the self-care behaviors of kidney transplant patients were duration after transplantation and basic psychological need satisfaction. Healthcare provider's autonomy support was indirectly significant, while autonomous motivation, controlled motivation and depression were not statistically significant for self-care behaviors. The variables accounted for 59.5% of the self-care behaviors of kidney transplant patients. Conclusion: It is necessary to develop an autonomy support program for healthcare providers to enhance the self-care behaviors of kidney transplant patients. Preventing the deterioration of self-care behaviors will be possible by conducting this program at one year and six years post-transplantation. In addition, the results suggest the need to developing personalized autonomy support programs for healthcare providers that can meet the basic psychological need satisfaction of kidney transplant patients.
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