181478 Social justice for American Indians/Alaska Natives: Reducing disparities in organ donation

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 9:10 AM

Nancy L. Fahrenwald, PhD, RN , College of Nursing, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD
Efforts to amend health disparities are driven by the foundational value of social justice. Application of justice-focused principles requires deliberate actions based upon the recognition that all social groups do not have the same level of health. It is well known that American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) experience a greater burden of chronic health problems. While the rates of specific health issues differ by tribe, type 2 diabetes rates are four to eight times higher among AI/AN compared to the overall population of the United States. Excessive rates of diabetes lead to numerous other health issues, including end stage renal disease, a state of kidney impairment that requires hemodialysis or renal transplantation in order to maintain life. Better health outcomes and improved quality of life make transplantation preferable to dialysis. Unfortunately, organ donation consent rates among AI/AN people are low despite some evidence that donor match is more likely when it comes from a member of the same tribe. Research efforts that aim to resolve the disparity between need for kidney donation and consent for donation are needed. This presentation describes the development of a federally-funded, multi-state, public health intervention designed to increase intent to serve as an organ donor among tribal college/university students. This community-based participatory research effort includes the target population and other university students in the remediation of injustices in health care and health disparities for AI/AN through the design and testing of culturally relevant public health education. Within the academy, the learning opportunities created by these research efforts have the potential to garner students' determination and commitment to resolving health disparities in their professional careers.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the excessive burden of type 2 diabetes and subsequent end-stage renal disease among American Indians/Alaska Natives requiring a growing demand for kidney donation. 2. Discuss how community-based participatory research efforts are used to increase intent to serve as an organ and tissue donor among Tribal College/University students. 3. Discuss how to integrate social justice values into student's research.

Keywords: Social Justice, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the researcher in this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.