JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effects of targeted education for first-year university students on knowledge and attitudes about stem cell transplantation and donation

Zühre Kaya, Korcan Emre Gültekin, Oğuz Kaan Demirtaş, Dilşen Karadeniz, Yunus Çalapkulu, Özge Tap
Experimental and Clinical Transplantation 2015, 13 (1): 76-81
25275861

OBJECTIVES: Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is a life-saving treatment, but donor numbers are lacking in Turkey and elsewhere. Increased awareness of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation among university students might help expand donation. We evaluated the effect of a brief targeted educational intervention on knowledge and attitudes about hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and donation among first-year university students in Turkey.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: There were 301 first-year university students (median age, 18 y) who volunteered: 163 medical students (54%) and 138 law students (46%). Before and after a brief lecture about hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, students answered a 5-item yes-or-no questionnaire regarding (1) knowledge about health benefits of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; (2) knowledge about stem cell banking and donation in Turkey; (3) knowledge about the transplantation procedure; (4) prior experience and/or willingness to donate blood; and (5) willingness to donate stem cells. Reasons for motivation to donate blood and/or stem cells were categorized. Results before and after the lecture were evaluated with univariate and multivariate analyses.

RESULTS: The response rate was 100%. Significantly greater proportions of students had knowledge about hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and willingness to donate blood and stem cells after the lecture. There were no differences between medical and law students before the lecture. After the lecture, a significantly greater proportion of medical students indicated knowledge about health benefits of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, stem cell banking and donation in Turkey, and the transplantation procedure.

CONCLUSIONS: Brief education about hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for university students can increase knowledge and awareness about hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and cause more positive attitudes about stem cell donation.

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