186034 Guilt and ambivalence: An exploration of beliefs about bone marrow and peripheral stem cell donation among Korean Americans

Monday, October 27, 2008: 8:50 AM

John H. Choe, MD, MPH , Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Joon–Ho Yu, MPH , Institute for Public Health Genetics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Jae Chong , Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background: Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation is a potentially curative therapy for hematologic malignancies. This requires identification of an antigen-matched donor, and then harvest of donor bone marrow or peripheral stem cells for infusion into the patient. Compared to Whites, Asian patients are less likely to receive an HSC transplant after searching the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) registry; this is partly attributable to inadequate numbers of potential Asian donors.

Purpose: To identify factors among Korean Americans that influence enrollment into the NMDP registry.

Methods: Participants were recruited from those who enrolled and those who declined to enroll during two community NMDP registry drives. In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted among Korean adults age 18-60. Topics included cultural beliefs and knowledge regarding HSC donation. Interviews were translated, transcribed, and reviewed for themes and relationships between concepts.

Results: Content analysis of the first 13 interviews has identified several recurring themes. Religiosity and altruism were common among “enrollees”. Anxiety, confusion about the process, and the perceived pain of donation were expressed as barriers. Guilt about not enrolling was balanced by ambivalence regarding the possibility of a future “match”, and many stated that they were more likely to donate if they personally knew the recipient.

Conclusions: Current recruitment strategies to increase the HSC donor pool among Asian Americans may not adequately address the culturally-specific concerns of potential donors. These preliminary data will be used to adapt recruitment material as an effort to increase the number of potential donors available to Asian American patients.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this session, audience members should be able to identify several cultural beliefs that may be associated with the shortfall of available hematopoietic stem cell donors available to Asian American patients with hematologic malignancies and disorders.

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander, Cancer

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed and was principal investigator for 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.