Public knowledge and attitudes toward organ donation and transplantation: a cross-cultural study

H El-Shoubaki, A Bener
Transplantation Proceedings 2005, 37 (5): 1993-7

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge, attitudes, awareness, and determinants of organ donation and transplantation in a Qatari population.

DESIGN: This is a cross-sectional study to determine the knowledge and attitude toward organ donation in a Peninsula Arabian Gulf country.

SETTING: The setting was Primary Health Care (PHC) Centers and community-based study in Qatar.

SUBJECTS: A multistage sampling design was used in a representative sample of 1600 Qataris and non-Qataris, including males and females of at least 17 years of age, from October 2003 to May 2004. In this study a 1305 (81.5%) subjects participated, each giving consent for the study.

MEASUREMENTS: Participants completed a questionnaire assessing their knowledge, attitudes, and awareness for organ donation.

RESULTS: Of 1305 samples, 637 (48.8%) males and 668 females (51.2%) living in urban and semiurban areas agreed to participate and complete the questionnaire. Of these, 762 (58.4%) were Qataris. There was a significant difference between Qataris and non-Qataris with respect to their age, educational level, monthly income, and occupation. In this study, 31.6% of Qataris and 29.8% of non-Qataris had no idea about the organ donation; 37.8% of Qataris and 32.8% of non-Qataris were willing to donate their organs. The majority of subjects preferred donating organs to their close relatives and friends. However, 83.8% of the studied subjects did not agree with an incentive-based approach for donating organs.

CONCLUSION: This study showed that people should not be blamed for not being willing to participate in organ donation, but the health system and health education providers are responsible. A more effective approach should be tried regarding health education.

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