Influence of empathy, beliefs, attitudes, and demographic variables on willingness to donate organs

E Wilczek-Rużyczka, I Milaniak, P Przybyłowski, K Wierzbicki, J Sadowski
Transplantation Proceedings 2014, 46 (8): 2505-8

BACKGROUND: As organ transplantation has become a more routine medical procedure, there has been a growing interest in studying people's attitudes and knowledge concerning organ donation. Trait empathy and self-interest influence different pro-social behaviors to a great extent; still, their role in the promotion of organ donation registration and willingness to donate organs remains unclear. However, people with higher levels of empathy report more altruistic beliefs. We assessed the influence of empathy, beliefs, and demographic variables on willingness to donate organs.

METHODS: We included 191 subjects (135 female, 56 male) aged 16-61 years (mean, 26.86 ± 12.88), who participated in educational meetings concerning organ donation. The group was composed of students, teachers, and nurses. Survey tools included the Individual Questionnaire: Study of Attitudes Towards Transplantation, consisting of 26 closed-ended questions (with the consent of the Krakow Statistical Office) and the Empathy Scale by Mehrabian and Epstein.

RESULTS: Of the respondents, 97.4% accept transplantation from living donors, 95.8% accept deceased donations, and 78.5% agree with posthumous life-saving organ donation. The majority of respondents (73%) achieved an average level of empathy, and 20.4% of respondents exhibited considerably higher empathy levels. There was a significant difference between the respondents' sex and their agreement to make a life-saving organ donation. Differences were found among the groups, the attitudes and willingness to donate organs, and between the level of empathy and agreement/consent for organ donation.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show that the group in general has favorable beliefs about transplantation and declares a willingness to make a posthumous organ donation. These beliefs vary based on demographic variables. Education about organ and tissue donation a has a positive impact on donation and transplantation rates.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"