Personnel in cadaveric organ transplant-related hospital units faced with living liver donation: an attitudinal study in a Spanish hospital with a cadaveric and living liver transplant programme

A Ríos, P Ramírez, M M Rodríguez, L Martínez, M J Montoya, D Lucas, P Parrilla
Liver International: Official Journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver 2007, 27 (5): 687-93

INTRODUCTION: The attitude of health-care personnel is fundamental for the procurement of transplant organs, especially in those services that are related to transplantation. The objective of this study is to find out the attitude towards living liver donation among personnel who work in transplant-related services in a hospital with a cadaveric and living organ transplant programme.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A random sample was taken and stratified by type of service and job category (N=330), in services related to transplantation (procurement units, transplant units and follow-up units). Attitude was evaluated using a validated psychosocial questionnaire.

CONTROL GROUP: a random sample of personnel in clinical services that do not have any direct contact with solid organ transplantation. Student's t-test and the chi(2) test complemented by a logistical regression analysis were applied in the statistical analysis.

RESULTS: The questionnaire completion rate was 94% (N=309). Only 10% (N=31) of respondents are in favour of living liver donation if it is unrelated, but another 67% (N=207) are in favour if donation were for a relative. Of the rest, 11% (N=33) do not agree with living liver donation and the remaining 12% (N=38) are undecided. In the control group, attitude towards living liver donation is favourable in 82% (N=344) (P=0.0908). An analysis of the variables that influence attitude shows that the following factors are significantly related: (1) age (P=0.037); (2) a respondent's belief that he or she may need a transplant in the future (P=0.013); and (3) if it were necessary, a willingness to receive a donated living liver organ (P=0.000). Of the variables that have the most influence on attitude towards living liver donation in the bivariate analysis, there are two variables that are statistically significant in the multivariate analysis: (1) age and (2) willingness to accept a donated living liver organ from a relative if it were needed (OR=14.19). There is also a close relationship between attitude towards living liver donation and attitude towards living kidney donation (P=0.000) CONCLUSIONS: There is a favourable attitude towards living liver donation among personnel in units related to the transplantation and donation process, although it is less favourable than expected. Therefore, it will be necessary to increase this level of acceptance and to improve information about the matter if we want to encourage living liver donation. The youngest workers in these units are those who are most in favour, which leads us to believe that there is a hopeful future for this type of liver donation that is so necessary given the cadaveric organ deficit.

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