Knowledge and attitudes of high school students related to organ donation and transplantation: a cross-sectional survey in Turkey

Ibrahim Tokalak, Altug Kut, Gokhan Moray, Remzi Emiroglu, Rengin Erdal, Hamdi Karakayali, Mehmet Haberal
Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation 2006, 17 (4): 491-6
We have very little information about the knowledge and attitude of high school students towards organ donation and transplantation. The aim of this study was to identify student-related factors that might affect organ donation, and then use this information to develop some essential strategies and policies. Two hundred students from one urban high school were surveyed with a questionnaire. After completing the first interview, the students underwent a training program on organ donation and transplantation. Once this was complete, the students filled out the same questionnaire in a second interview session. We then analyzed the changes from before to after the educational program in order to assess the program's effectiveness. Concerning brain-death, 66.1% of the respondents identified the correct definition of this concept before training, and 92% did so after training (p<0.001). The correct definition of transplantation was chosen by 68.3% of the respondents before training, and by 90.6% after training (p<0.001). It is clear that this educational program greatly enhanced the students' level of knowledge related to many aspects of organ donation and transplantation and significantly expanded awareness. By leading to changes in opinion, such training programs will significantly increase the number of donors and the rate of transplantation in Turkey.

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