Population study about the attitude toward organ xenotransplantation in the population from Eastern Europe resident in southeast Spain

Antonio Ríos, Laura Martínez-Alarcón, José Sánchez, Nicholas Jarvis, Dolores Guzmán, Pascual Parrilla, Pablo Ramírez
International Journal of Artificial Organs 2010, 33 (1): 30-9

BACKGROUND: The objective of this paper is to analyze the attitude toward xenotransplantation and to determine the variables that influence this attitude in the population of southeast Spain who were born in Eastern European countries.

METHODS: A random sample was taken of natives from Eastern Europe residing in southeast Spain (n=320). The sample was obtained randomly between November 2005 and April 2006 and stratified according to the respondents' nationality. Attitude was evaluated using a validated questionnaire which was self-administered and completed anonymously. The control group was a random sample of the native Spanish population (n=250). The statistical analysis used included Student's t-test, the chi-square test, Fisher's exact test, and a logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS: The questionnaire completion rate was 83% (n=267). Regarding the use of animal organs for transplantation in humans, if the outcome were similar to that achieved when using human organs, 43% (n=114) would be in favor, 32% (n=86) undecided, and the remaining 25% (n=67) would be against it. This attitude is less favorable than in the control group (43% versus 74%, p<0.001). The attitude was related to the following factors: 1) the country of origin (p<0.001); 2) participation in social help activities (p<0.001); 3) discussion on organ donation and transplantation within the family (p=0.005); 4) previous experience of organ donation and transplantation (p=0.002); 5) the respondent's religion (p=0.002); 6) knowing that one's partner had a favorable attitude toward transplantation (p<0.001); 7) the respondent's belief that he or she might need a transplant in the future (p<0.001); 8) the attitude toward human donation, both from cadaver (p<0.001) and living (p<0.001) donors. The following were also independent variables in the subsequent multivariate analysis: 1) favorable attitude toward cadaver organ donation (OR=4.998); 2) previous experience of donation (0R=2.857); 3) partner's attitude against transplantation (OR=0.079); and 4) attitude toward living donation (OR=12. 703).

CONCLUSIONS: The attitude toward xenotransplantation is less positive among Eastern Europeans living in Spain than in the native Spanish population and is influenced by many psychosocial factors that are mainly related to human organ donation.

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