Organ donation workshop - a survey on nurses' knowledge and attitudes toward organ and tissue donation in Iran

Hamid Reza Aghayan, Babak Arjmand, Seyed Hassan Emami-Razavi, Ali Jafarian, Ali Reza Shabanzadeh, Fatemeh Jalali, Parisa Goodarzi, Sohelia Jebelifar
International Journal of Artificial Organs 2009, 32 (10): 739-44

PURPOSE: Despite increasing transplantation in Iran, organ shortage and long waiting lists remain major problems in the country. Many publications have demonstrated that the willingness of healthcare professionals to participate in the donation process can improve the donation rate. Since nurses are usually the first people among the healthcare staff to recognize a patient as a potential donor, they have an important role in the procurement of organ and tissue from cadaveric donors. Our objectives were to survey nurses' knowledge and attitudes toward organ and tissue donation and to examine the effect of having them attend a workshop on organ donation.

METHODS: A 39-item questionnaire was completed by 66 nurses, before and after participation in a 1-day organ donation workshop that was held at the Iranian Tissue Bank (in Tehran, Iran). The questionnaire contained demographic data, 29 questions regarding knowledge, and 8 questions on attitudes toward organ and tissue donation.

RESULTS: 69.7% women and 30.3% men participated in this study. The mean score for knowledge was 16.89 (SD= 3.33) before and 23.76 (SD=1.66) after the workshop (p=0.000). The mean attitudes score was 4.76 (SD=1.71) before and 5.08 (SD=1.34) after the workshop (p=0.235). Although 63.63% claimed they were willing to have a donation card only 15.15% actually carried one.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that educational programs can enhance nurses' knowledge and commitment to the organ donation process and, ultimately, increase the donation rate. Consequently, it is of great importance for organ procurement units to focus on regular training programs for all their healthcare staff.

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