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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Organ donation, awareness, attitudes and beliefs among post graduate medical students

Usha Bapat, Prashanth G Kedlaya et al.
Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation 2010, 21 (1): 174-80
20061720
Organ transplantation is the most preferred treatment modality for patients with end-stage organ disease. There is an inadequate supply of cadaver organs commensurate with need. Health-care professionals are the critical link in augmenting public awareness about organ donation. Their attitudes and beliefs can influence the public opinion. This study aims at understanding the awareness, attitudes, and beliefs among the medical postgraduate students. A total of 123 post-graduates of a medical college hospital in South India participated in the study. A specially de-signed questionnaire was used in assessment. Data were statistically analyzed using SPSS Windows version 10.0. The mean age of the postgraduate students was 28.32 + or - 3.5 years, 54% were males, 62% belonged to Christian religion, 69% were single, 77% were from nuclear families, 87% had urban background, and 54% were from upper socioeconomic strata. About 97% said they were aware of organ donation through media, 23 understood the concept of "cadaver" as "brain-death" and 93% were able to distinguish between brain-death and persistent vegetative state. Eighty-nine percent wished to donate their organs, 77% did not believe in body disfigurement and 87% did not believe in rebirth without the donated organs, if they pledged their organs. Sixty-nine percent were willing to donate the organs of their family members. Eighty percent were willing to receive organs from family and cadaver, 40% were willing to donate a child's organs, 95% did not believe that organ donation is against their religion, 87% disagreed with the notion that doctors would not impart adequate care if they were pledged organ donors and 79% agreed that doctors would not declare death prematurely, if they had pledged their organs during life. There was a statistically significant correlation between attitudes, beliefs and demographics. In conclusion, the concept of brain-death was clearly understood by only a small number of medical postgraduate students. They however, had positive attitudes and beliefs towards organ donation.

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