JOURNAL ARTICLE

[Attitudes towards transplantation and organ donation in high school graduates of math gymnasium in Osijek]

Zibar Lada, Popović Zvonimir, Raguz Lucić Nikola, Orlić Karbić Vlasta
Acta Medica Croatica: C̆asopis Hravatske Akademije Medicinskih Znanosti 2011, 65: 63-6
23120819

OBJECTIVE: Testing attitudes and opinions ofgraduate students in Osijek towards organ donation and transplantation. Examinees and methods: The research included 99 students of math gymnasium in Osijek (54 males and 45 females, mean age 18 years). They fulfilled an anonymous questionnaire, consisted of 24 questions about transplantation, willingness to donate organs, consciousness of importance of donating organs and attitudes of religion towards organ donation. Statistical analysis was made by SPSS 16.0 computer program using Chi-square test.

RESULTS: Most of the gymnasium students (80.8%) have already heard about organ donation, 76.8% of them have received information by television. 59.4% students know how a transplantation is being performed, but the majority (64.6%) of them don't know whom to address to receive additional information about organ donation. 27.3% students have discussed transplantation inside their families and 17.2% examinees know someone who signed the donor card. 55.6% examinees are convinced that transplantation procedure is safe and efficient. 41.4% thinks that family should give permission for explantation of a deceased patient's organs, while 33.3% consider it not necessary. Regarding the question whether examinees think that organ transplantation was a mutilation, 91.9% of them answered "no". Although 55.6% students believe that doctors would put the same effort in saving patients, independent whether they possessed donor card or not, there were 60.6% that thought it was possible to obtain organ in Croatia by illegal ways. Nevertheless, 79.8% students would receive organ from a deceased person, 64.6% would donate organs after their death. Observing ethical and religious attitudes, 92.9% are sure that organ donation is a humane gesture. 82.8% examinees were believers and 60.6% of them didn't know attitudes of their religion towards organ donation. Women have significantly more willingness to donate their organ to family member during their lives (97.8%), while 81.5% males would do the same, p=0.035. Lower percentage of atheists were found among women (6.7%) than in men (25.9%), p=0.011. 53.7% males consider their religion to be against organ donation, while only 17.8% females, p=0.046.

CONCLUSION: High school graduates have mostly heard about organ transplantation (many of them by television) and the majority has positive attitude and are willing to donate theirs and to receive organs from another person. Such willingness and tendency towards organ donation should be taken with reserve, because it was relatively young population, without life experience in similar situations. Within their population, believers are predominating, and they often don't know whether their religion is pro organ donation or against it. Smaller proportion, but still the majority of the examinees, considers the transplantation to be a safe procedure. Women and men show differences regarding information, attitudes and willingness to make a sacrifice. Women are more willing to donate organs to a family member. Still, there is not enough discussion about transplantation inside each family. Rate of ignorance and lack of information about transplantation and organ donation, indicates a need for better representation of this topic in media, schools, religious institutions and inside family.

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