Online Program

Understanding christian African American's religious beliefs and organ donation intentions

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dana Robinson, MPH, Department of Behavioral Sciences & Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Susan Gerbensky Klammer, BS, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Jennie Perryman, PhD, RN, Emory University Hospital, The Emory Transplant Center, Atlanta, GA
Nancy Thompson, PhD, MPH, Department of Behavioral Sciences & Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Kimberly Arriola, PhD, MPH, Department of Behavioral Sciences & Health Education, RSPH of Emory University, Atlanta, GA
African Americans (AAs) are overrepresented on the organ transplant waiting list and underrepresented among organ and tissue donors. A multitude of factors contribute to this disparity, and reluctance to donate expressed by AAs plays a prominent role. One of the most highly noted reasons for lack of donation among AAs is the perception that donation is contrary to religious beliefs. The purpose of this study is to explore religiosity, religious beliefs, religious involvement and their association with willingness to donate and the written expression of donation intentions among AAs. Data were collected from the baseline assessment of a randomized effectiveness study that evaluated the effectiveness of a self-administered intervention (Project ACTS: About Choices in Transplantation and Sharing). Self- administered questionnaires were completed by 585 AA adults residing in the metropolitan Atlanta area; however, for the purpose of all analyses, only the 505 participants (86.3%) who identified their religion as Christian were included. Measures assess religious service attendance; subjective religiosity; religious norms; personal experiences with donation; and donation intention. Results indicate that religious service attendance was not associated with either donation intentions measures; however, subjective religiosity was significantly associated with willingness to serve as an organ donor. Additionally the belief that one's religion supports donation is associated with both willingness to donate (p<.001) and written donation intentions (p<.001). Findings suggest that religiosity is a multidimensional construct and results differ depending on how the construct is being measured and operationalized.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe an attitudinal barrier based on religious beliefs and its association with organ donation among African Americans. Explain the role of normative religious beliefs with respect to organ donation decision making among African Americans.

Keyword(s): Religion, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to give this presentation on this material because as Research Project Coordinator, I oversee all aspects of this organ and tissue educational intervention.
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.