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Knowledge and Opinions About Organ Donation and Tissue Transplantation Among Vietnamese Americans in Seattle, Washington: A Pilot Study

Hien Pham, School of Medicine, University of Washington, 9136 50th Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98118, 206-334-6271, hiena@u.washington.edu and Spigner Clarence, MPH, DrPH, Department of Health Services, University of Washington, 357660, Seattle, WA 98195.

Background: Racial/ethnic minorities comprise almost 50% of registrants on the national waiting lists for organ transplantation in the United States. As the list continues to expand, organ shortage becomes a bigger problem. Increasing donation rate, especially among racial minority groups would lower the waiting times for these groups. Purpose: Asian Americans are among the fastest growing and most diverse ethnic group in the U.S., but research on their knowledge or opinions about organ donation is rare. Population: A non-random sample of 350 Vietnamese American church attendees and Vietnamese students attending a major university in Seattle, Washington, were drawn. Methods: A self-administered 39-item knowledge/opinion-based survey was conducted during June - August 2003. Results: Of 279 respondents (a 79.7% response rate), 69.1% knew blood-type made a difference in donation (p=0.000), 61.6% knew transplant survival rates were high (p=0.000), and 75.9% knew transplants could come from living donors (p=0.000). But 53.4% also thought organs could be sold for money in the U.S. (p=0.000), and almost one-half or 49.8% thought more people died of auto accidents and gunshot wounds than heart disease (p=0.000). Those who answered correctly to more than 50% of the knowledge questions were more likely to favor organ donation (p=.007). Conclusion: While having correct knowledge about organ donation related to a willingness to donate, more culturally-sensitive and effective health education campaigns are needed.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Public Health, Asian and Pacific Islander

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Emerging Health Issues within Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Communities

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA