Benefit of a hospital course about organ donation and transplantation: an evaluation by Spanish hospital transplant personnel

A Ríos, P Ramírez, M del mar Rodríguez, L Martínez-Alarcón, D Lucas, J Alcaraz, M J Montoya, P Parrilla
Transplantation Proceedings 2007, 39 (5): 1310-3

UNLABELLED: A considerable percentage of hospital personnel are against organ donation, which at a crucial time could act as an obstacle to donation. Moreover, there is often a lack of training of personnel necessary for them to provide accurate information about organ donation and transplantation. Our objective was to determine the acceptability of a training course about organ donation among hospital workers in a center with an ongoing solid organ transplant program.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A random sample (n = 1168) was stratified by type of service and job category among workers in hospital services within an organ transplant program. An evaluation was made of attitudes toward donation and acceptance of a training course using a validated psychosocial questionnaire. Distribution of the survey was made by the head of each service and job category. The survey was completed anonymously and self-administered.

RESULTS: Sixty-nine percent (n = 808) of respondents were in favor of donating their own organs. With respect to the benefit of a training course about organ donation and transplantation, 50% (n = 584) of respondents considered it to be a useful idea, whereas 15% (n = 176) did not, and 35% (n = 408) were not sure. An important finding was that 56% (n = 452) of those who are in favor of donation would take part in the course compared to only 37% (n = 132) of those who were against or undecided. There was a significant relationship between those workers who believed that the training course will be of use and the following factors: younger age (P = .000); women (P = .000); single (P = .000); nursing job category (P = .000); a temporary contract (P = .012); a worker in nonsurgical services (P = .000); prior understanding of the concept of brain death (P = .003); favoring cadaveric organ donation (P = .000); performing pro-social voluntary type activities (P = .000); discussions of organ donation and transplantation within the family (P = .022); Catholic religion (P = .001); a partner in favor of organ donation and transplantation (P = .001); and a belief that he may need a transplant (P = .000).

CONCLUSIONS: A training course about organ donation and transplantation might be useful given that only half of the workers would be prepared to take part and with respect to the target population, only 37% of them stating that they would participate. Its main use would be to reinforce the positive attitude of those who are already in favor and increase their knowledge about the subject. What is more, if these workers received adequate training they would serve to promote donation both directly and indirectly to the general public and other hospital personnel.

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