Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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An exploration of knowledge, attitudes and beliefs toward organ and tissue donation among the adult Haitian population living in the Greater Montreal area.

BACKGROUND: The decision to donate organs and tissues has the potential to save and improve the quality of life of the transplant recipient. Previous studies suggest lack of information, fears, and prejudices have prevented some cultural minorities from participating in organ and tissue donation (OTD). There is scarce information about the views of those who might be approached for potential donation in the Haitian community. In fact, Haitians are the largest Black ethno-cultural community in Montreal and are at higher risk for needing a kidney transplant (Desilets & Sodjinou, 2006).

PURPOSE: To learn what Haitians know and believe about OTD in order to enable registered nurses to develop culturally appropriate approaches and interventions.

DESIGN: A qualitative descriptive design was used to explore the knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes toward OTD among the adult Haitian population in the Montreal area. Focus groups were held with 24 members of the Haitian community and moderated by Haitian registered nurses who spoke French and Creole.

DATA ANALYSIS: Group interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed for themes. Adult participants represented younger and older members of the community. They were from different socioeconomic backgrounds.

FINDINGS: Knowledge about donation was influenced by the media, personal beliefs and experience, and level of trust in the health care system. Participants' recommendations on how to address OTD issues within the Haitian community were shaped by beliefs about wholeness, perceived need for donation and key persons who could influence decision-making behaviour.

CONCLUSION: The level of distrust with the health care system and the study consent process used with participants might have affected the degree of participation and disclosure in discussions.

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