Medical students' knowledge and attitudes toward organ donation: results of a Dutch survey

C A Figueroa, E T Mesfum, N T Acton, A E Kunst
Transplantation Proceedings 2013, 45 (6): 2093-7

BACKGROUND: In the Netherlands, as in many other countries, a paucity of research exists on the attitudes and intentions of medical students toward organ donation. These students are of interest for the effect that increasing medical knowledge might have on the willingness to register as a donor.

OBJECTIVE: To examine which factors determine medical students' willingness to register as donors.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey among medical students at the University of Amsterdam. Our questionnaire included questions on actual donor registration, motives, knowledge, and attitudes toward donation. To assess which factors were related to self-reported donor registration status, we conducted multivariate logistic regression analyses.

RESULTS: We received 506 questionnaires (response rate at least 84%). The majority of respondents (80%) intended to donate organs, while 59% were registered. Self-reported medical knowledge and positive attitudes on donation were independently associated with registering as a donor. A rising study year was associated with registering as a donor; this could be explained by increasing medical knowledge and changing attitudes.

CONCLUSION: The results of our study suggest that willingness to register as a donor increases with a rising level of knowledge on organ donation up to some minimal level.

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