Family practice residents' attitudes toward organ donation

D R Falvo, P Woehlke, P Tippy
Journal of Family Practice 1987, 25 (2): 163-6
Shortage of organs for transplantation has been attributed in part to negative attitudes of medical personnel. As the demand for organ donations increases, it is likely that family physicians may encounter with increasing frequency situations in which they are in some way involved with the families of potential donors. This study was designed to assess residents' attitudes toward organ donation Overall attitudes were positive, with a mean attitude score of 1.275 (SD 1.415) where 0 = very favorable and 9 = very unfavorable. At the same time, however, concerns regarding premature declaration of death, feelings of the potential donor's family, and cost or benefit of organ donation were identified as well. Nearly one half the residents thought they had little knowledge about organ donation or transplant. Residents' feelings about donating their own organs were most predictive of their opinion of organ donation in general. Only 25 percent of residents had signed an organ donor card and had it witnessed. How much residents knew about organ donation and how they thought their own families felt were the best predictors of whether they had signed the donor form.

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