Communication with Families Regarding Organ and Tissue Donation after Death in Intensive Care (COMFORT): a multicentre before-and-after study

Julie E Potter, Lin Perry, Rosalind M Elliott, Anders Aneman, Jorge L Brieva, Elena Cavazzoni, Andrew Th Cheng, Michael J O'Leary, Ian M Seppelt, Robert G Herkes
Critical Care and Resuscitation: Journal of the Australasian Academy of Critical Care Medicine 2018, 20 (4): 268-276

OBJECTIVE: To implement a best-practice intervention offering deceased organ donation, testing whether it increased family consent rates.

DESIGN: A multicentre before-and-after study of a prospective cohort compared with pre-intervention controls.

SETTING: Nine Australian intensive care units.

PARTICIPANTS: Families and health care professionals caring for donor-eligible patients without registered donation preferences or aged ≤ 16 years.

INTERVENTION: A multicomponent intervention including offers of deceased organ donation from specially trained designated requesters using a structured conversation separate to end-of-life discussions.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Proportion of families consenting to organ donation.

RESULTS: Consent was obtained in 87/164 cases (53%) during the intervention period compared with 14/25 cases (56%) pre-intervention ( P = 0.83). The odds ratio (OR) of obtaining consent during the intervention period relative to preintervention was 1.13 (95% CI, 0.48-2.63; P = 0.78). During the intervention period, designated requesters obtained consent in 55/98 cases (56%), compared with 32/66 cases (48%) in which the medical team managing patient care raised donation ( P = 0.34). Factors independently associated with increased consent were: family-raised organ donation (OR, 4.34; 95% CI, 1.79-10.52; P = 0.001), presence of an independent designated requester (OR, 3.84; 95% CI, 1.35- 10.98; P = 0.012), and multiple donation conversations per case (OR, 3.35; 95% CI, 1.93-5.81; P < 0.001). Consent decreased when patients were of non-Christian religion (OR, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.04-0.91; P = 0.038) and end-of-life and donation meetings were separate (OR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.16-0.89; P = 0.026).

CONCLUSION: Implementation of a multicomponent intervention did not increase consent rates for organ donation, although some components of the intervention exerted significant effect.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12613000815763. NCT01922310.


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