An educational intervention on organ and tissue donation for first-year medical students

Thomas Hugh Feeley, Judith Tamburlin, Donald E Vincent
Progress in Transplantation 2008, 18 (2): 103-8

CONTEXT: Medical students and medical professionals have knowledge deficits related to organ and tissue transplantation.

OBJECTIVE: To implement and evaluate a medical education intervention on organ and tissue donation designed for first-year medical students.

STUDY DESIGN: Independent sample pretest and posttest design.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: First-year medical students attending University at Buffalo School of Medicine during fall 2005 and fall 2006 terms.

INTERVENTION: A 1-hour lecture on the background of organ donation, donor eligibility (eg, living vs deceased donation), policies and roles during transplantation (eg, role of physician and organ procurement organization), and the organ-matching process. After the lecture, students participated in a small-group interaction that used standardized patients who role-played 1 of 2 scenarios designed to test students' knowledge and communication about organ and tissue donation.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Knowledge, self-efficacy, family discussion, and enrollment into state organ and tissue registry.

RESULTS: Significant increases from pretest to posttest in medical students' knowledge, self-efficacy, and family notification of donation intentions were found. The intervention was successful in increasing students' knowledge and awareness about organ and tissue donation. Future research should implement and evaluate a course-long curriculum on donation.

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