Relationship of exposure to organ donation information to attitudes, beliefs, and donation decisions of next of kin

James R Rodrigue, Danielle L Cornell, Richard J Howard
Progress in Transplantation 2009, 19 (2): 173-9

CONTEXT: Public education campaigns about organ donation are common, but their association to actual attitudes, beliefs, and decisions about organ donation among family members of donation-eligible individuals is unknown.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the sources of organ donation information identified by donor and nondonor families who participated in a large-scale study to examine factors that influence organ donation decisions.

DESIGN: Semistructured telephone survey conducted after a passive recruitment strategy.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Participants were 285 next of kin of donor-eligible individuals (147 donors, 138 nondonors) from one organ procurement organization.

RESULTS: Most (85.6%) of next of kin were exposed to at least 1 source of donation information that was important to them, although the types of donation information they were exposed to varied widely. White and educated adults were more likely to have been exposed to more donation information than had minorities and persons with less education. Favorable attitudes and beliefs about organ donation, donor designation, and sharing donation intentions with others were all associated with more exposure to different types of donation information. Donation consent was more likely when next of kin had been exposed to more donation information in the months preceding the family member's death.

CONCLUSIONS: When examined in the context of other recent research, these findings argue for continued development and implementation of public education campaigns for organ donation, with an emphasis on repeated exposure over time.

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