Attitudes toward living liver donation among hospital personnel in services not related to transplantation

A Ríos, C Conesa, P Ramírez, P J Galindo, L Martínez, J A Pons, M M Rodríguez, P Parrilla
Transplantation Proceedings 2005, 37 (9): 3636-40

INTRODUCTION: The deficiency in livers and waiting list mortality have encouraged more living liver donation, although it is not exempt from morbidity and mortality. The enthusiasm of transplant teams for this kind of donation is increasing; however, the attitudes toward it are not so clear among other health professionals. Our objective was to analyze the attitudes toward living liver donation among hospital professionals in services without habitual relations with transplantation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A random sample was stratified for service not related to transplantation and job category, in a third level hospital with a transplant program. Attitudes toward living liver donation were evaluated using a psychosocial questionnaire on living donation.

RESULTS: A total of 419 respondents were analyzed (doctors, n = 184; nurses, n = 119; assistant nurses, n = 80; and non-health workers, n = 36), with a mean age of 37 +/- 10 years. The attitude toward living liver donation was favorable in 82% (n = 344). Among the other respondents, half (9%; n = 38) were against and the other half (9%; n = 37) were undecided. No significant differences were found among the doctors, nurses, assistants, and non-health workers. However, when the three categories were grouped in opposition to the non-health workers, there was greater indecision among non-health workers than the others (19% vs 8%; P = .0001). On analyzing the variables that determine this attitude we observed the following: having commented upon and previously discussed donation (P = .016); believing in the possibility of needing an organ oneself (P = .0001); and being in favor of living kidney donation (P = .0001) and cadaveric donation (P = .004).

CONCLUSIONS: Hospital personnel in services not related to transplantation favor living liver donation, especially if it is a related donation, despite its greater risk, except among non-health workers. However, it is important to conduct informative and awareness-raising campaigns in hospitals if such a type of transplantation is to be encouraged.

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