247786 Examining Perceptions of College Students about Organ Donation

Monday, October 31, 2011

Zimple Kurlawala, Graduate Student MPH , Public Health, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
In 2007, around 6000 people died waiting for an organ transplant. Currently, there are 72,707 active candidates on the organ waiting list across the nation, of which 695 candidates are from this south central state. Our study examined characteristics of college students who have signed the organ donor registry and consented to be an organ donor versus those who have not. A 76-item survey based on constructs from 2 health behavior theories assessed college students' knowledge, perceptions, intentions, and behaviors regarding organ donation. This survey was administered to students attending a university in south central United States. Of the 360 respondents, most were females (54%) and Caucasian (70%) between 18 and 32 years of age. Approximately, 37% reported having donated blood while 35% reported being registered donors. Results showed that intentions to donate were strongly predicted by donors' attitudes, willingness to communicate, and knowing how to go about becoming a donor. The most common reasons for not being an organ donor were fear of organ donation (54%) followed by mistrust of health care (27%). Students who had donated blood were twice as likely to be an organ donor (p=0.001). The typical non-donor was more likely to be male, nonwhite, less interested in health science subjects, has fewer positive attitudes (p=0.03), willingness to communicate (0.001), or motivation to comply (p=0.01) with organ donation and didn't know how to go about giving consent (p=0). Results can be used to develop programs focusing on improving consent toward organ donation among college students.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Assessing knowledge and perceptions of college students towards organ donation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a student at WKU pursuing Masters in Public Health. I worked on this research project as a part of my Health Education capstone course.
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.