Irish residents in southeastern Spain: in search of favorable groups to encourage living kidney donation in Spain

A Ríos, L Martínez-Alarcón, P Ramírez, J Sánchez, N Jarvis, M M Rodríguez, P Cascales, O M Fernández, P Parrilla
Transplantation Proceedings 2007, 39 (7): 2068-71

INTRODUCTION: There has been an increase in the population resident in southeast Spain originating from the British Isles, among them Irish citizens. Living kidney donation rates are currently low in Spain. In an attempt to increase these rates, a search is underway to find groups who are favorable toward this type of donation especially from those countries with high levels of living kidney donation. The objective of this study was to analyze the attitudes toward living kidney donation among the population group originating from Ireland (including Northern Ireland) and who live in southeast Spain.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A random sample (n = 325) of the population in southeast Spain (Autonomous Community of Murcia) who were born in Ireland completed a validated questionnaire to measure attitudes. The questionnaire was self-administered and was completed anonymously between November 2005 and March 2006. Spanish citizens from an urban and a rural area were used as control groups (n = 500).

RESULTS: The questionnaire completion rate was 81% (n = 262) including 87% (n = 229) of respondents in favor of living related donation and 13% (n = 94) against it. The attitude was similar to that of the urban Spanish control group (87% vs 89%; P = .5832) and more favorable than that of the rural area (87% vs 29%; P < 0.001). With respect to living donation for monetary incentives, 7% (n = 16) reported that they would donate an organ while alive for money, although this would depend on the quantity of money offered; 4% (n = 10) would need to think about it; while the vast majority (81%; n = 212) would never donate an organ in life for money. The following variables influenced attitudes toward living kidney donation: respondent sex (P = .023); previous experience with the donation and transplantation process (P = .004); participation in prosocial activities (P = .016); religion (P = .003); partner's attitude toward the matter (P = .020); concern about "mutilation" after donation (P < .001); and belief that living kidney donation is a risk for the patient (P = .003).

CONCLUSION: Irish citizens living in southeast Spain showed a favorable attitude toward related living kidney donation. Therefore, they are a priority group to whom the option of living kidney donation should be offered when a kidney transplant is needed by an Irish person.

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