The tissue donation experience: a comparison of donor and nondonor families

James R Rodrigue, Michael P Scott, Anneliese R Oppenheim
Progress in Transplantation 2003, 13 (4): 258-64

CONTEXT: Although there has been an increase in studies examining the experiences of organ donor and nondonor families, scant empirical research specifically concerning tissue donation has been conducted.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the perceptions and attitudes of both donor and nondonor next of kin to whom a tissue donation request had been directed.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional, 2-group analysis of a telephone survey.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Participants were 507 adults who consented to tissue donation and 507 adults who refused consent to tissue donation following the death of a family member. All donation requests were made by telephone by trained staff.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The primary outcome measures were demographic and contextual information surrounding the donation request, perceptions and attitudes toward tissue donation, and reasons for donation or refusal to donate.

RESULTS: Findings suggest that most tissue donor family members were satisfied with the request and donation experience. Also, there were important differences in attitudes and perceptions between donor and nondonor family members, with nondonors reporting more negative attitudes and beliefs about tissue donation.

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