Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of officials of religion about organ donation in Kahramanmaras, an eastern Mediterranean city of Turkey

A Ozer, H C Ekerbicer, M Celik, M Nacar
Transplantation Proceedings 2010, 42 (9): 3363-7

OBJECTIVE: To establish the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of the officials of religion, a group with potentially powerful influence on the society, in particular regarding organ donation.

METHODS: This study, performed in Kahramanmaras Province, Turkey, included 416 of 641 officials of religion (64.9%): 295 of 492 imams (59.9%) and 121 of 149 Koran course educators (81.2%).

RESULTS: The mean (SD) age of the study group was 37.2 (8.2) years. Only 1.4% had stated that carried organ donation cards. Of participants who had not donated organs asked whether they thought of donation, 14.1% answered yes, 17.1% answered no, and 68.8% were undecided. Of the study group, 88.2% considered organ donation appropriate according to their religion. The imams compared with Koran course educators, and men compared with women demonstrated higher rates of considering organ donation appropriate according to their religion (P < .05). Among participants who stated they had knowledge about organ donation, the 3 leading information sources were television, newspapers or journals, and in-service training by the Directorate of Religious Affairs. The 3 primary organs the study group stated they were aware of being transplanted were kidneys, liver, and heart.

CONCLUSION: Although 88.2% of religious officials in the present study stated that organ donation was appropriate according to their religion, only 1.4% agreed to donate organs. Officials of religion hold an important place in society, and should be well informed and educated about organ donation via in-service training courses, and encourage organ donation by members of society.

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