JOURNAL ARTICLE

Attitude and willingness of high school students toward organ donation

Reza Afshar, Suzan Sanavi, Mohammad-Reza Rajabi
Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation 2012, 23 (5): 929-33
22982902
Public awareness of organ donation fundamentally affects the organ transplantation programs. This study was performed to assess the attitude and willingness of high school adolescents regarding organ donation. The study population consisted of 416 high school girls who were studying in four grades of three educational courses. Data were collected by a questionnaire and included demographic variables and attitude and willingness, which were assessed based on the Likert scale. The SPSS v.16 was used for data analysis. The mean age of the study subjects was 16.26 ± 1.06 years, 31% studied in grade-1, 27% in grade-2 (25% natural sciences, 27% mathematics and 48% humanities), 26% in grade-3 (30% natural sciences, 34% mathematics and 36% humanities) and 16% in pre-university stage (32% natural sciences, 42% mathematics and 26% humanities). The students had a highly positive attitude toward organ donation (mean score 4.2 ± 0.54). The greatest willingness for organ donation was concerning the kidney (88%) and heart (84%), followed by the liver (83.4%), pancreas (79.6%), cornea (67.8%) and skin (51%). Willingness for deceased as well as living organ donation was indicated by 92% and 47%, respectively, of the participants. Organ donation was considered acceptable only to relatives by 5% of the participants when the donors were deceased donors and by 16% of the participants when the donors were living donors; donation to all needy persons from deceased donors was accepted by 87% of the participants and from living donors by 31%. The purpose of donation was stated as lending help to others by 89% and progression of science by 40.2% of the participants. Willingness for organ donation from a deceased relative was declared by 63% of the students. There was significant positive correlation between willingness for organ donation and attitude (P <0.001). In addition, attitude and willingness had positive correlation with educational levels, age and educational courses. Our study suggests that Iranian adolescents have a great attitude and willingness toward organ donation, which reflects favorable knowledge of transplantation. Further research on public awareness in both genders and various age ranges is needed.

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