JOURNAL ARTICLE

A study on knowledge and attitude toward brain death and organ retrieval among health care professionals in Korea

K O Jeon, B N Kim, H S Kim, N-I Byeon, J J Hong, S H Bae, S Y Son
Transplantation Proceedings 2012, 44 (4): 859-61
22564567

PURPOSE: The practice of retrieving vital organs from brain-dead donors is legally and medically accepted in Korea, but health care professionals' beliefs and opinions regarding these matters have not been sufficiently explored. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of health care professionals to the concepts of brain death and organ retrieval.

METHODS: Data were collected using a 41-item questionnaire during a week in June 2011. Sixty-one doctors and 109 nurses from five hospitals with more than 2000 beds in Seoul, Korea, participated in the survey. The data was analyzed using SPSS version 17.0 (SPSS Inc. Chicago, Illinois, USA).

RESULTS: There were statistically significant differences in the scores on knowledge according to marital status (P = .001) education level (P = .019), whether the participants were informed about organ donation from a brain-dead donor (P = .002), and the participant's experience managing potential brain-dead patients (P = .037). There were statistically significant differences in the scores on the attitude according to gender (P < .001), age (P < .001), marital status (P < .001), education level (P = .003), job position (P < .001), and the participant's experience referring brain-dead patients to the hospital-based organ procurement organization (P = .001). Significantly, attitude's positively correlated with knowledge about brain-dead organ donation (P < .001).

CONCLUSION: Compared with previous studies, the knowledge and attitudes of health care professionals' regarding brain death and organ retrieval were not improved. There are passive attitudes to brain death and organ retrieval. More research must be performed to promote knowledge and understanding toward brain death and organ retrieval among health care professionals.

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