247304 Developing a communication strategy for bone marrow donation among asian-americans on college campuses

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Celia Chan, MS , Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Susan S. Gallagher, MPH , Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Background: Almost 15,000 people in the U.S. each year develop diseases that require a bone marrow or blood cell transplant.  For Asian-Americans (AAs) and other minority groups, their best chances of finding a match are often someone of their own race or ethnicity. This study examined outreach efforts to AAs (Phase I) and the attitudes and beliefs that facilitate or serve as barriers to bone marrow donation in AA college students (Phase II). 

Methods: In Phase I, key informant interviews were conducted with three AA bone marrow recruitment groups in the U.S using a convenience sample drawn from a list of four AA recruitment organizations. In Phase II, key informant interviews were conducted with 11 student leaders of college based AA student organizations in the Boston area. Recruitment involved 66 email solicitations, and a stratified sampling frame was used. Data analysis for both phases was focused on identifying patterns and variations in interview responses.

Results: Barriers to donation among AA college students included parental influence, medical concerns and misinformation, and student convenience. The level of knowledge was generally low. Higher participation was found among blood donors, organ donors, and members of faith communities, despite substantial interest in the topic among students. Student leaders indicated a preference for working collaboratively with other AA campus organizations if outreach activities were implemented.

Conclusions: Many complex factors affect AA college students' decisions to donate. Awareness raising activities will likely attract more interest if tailored towards AA college students' specific needs.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify two ways to increase Asian-American college students' willingness to become a bone marrow donor. 2. Discuss the need for more Asian-Americans to become bone marrow donors. 3. Explain at least two attitudes and beliefs that hinder Asian-American college students from donating bone marrow.

Keywords: Asian Americans, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I researched, designed, and conducted this study.
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.