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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

Forming altruistic behaviors among secondary school students towards organ donation

I Milaniak, P Przybyłowski, K Wierzbicki, J Sadowski

Ann Transplant 2009; 14(1): 77-78

ID: 880485

Available online:

Published: 2009-05-21

Background: In Poland, more than 1800 people are waiting for an organ
transplant. Teaching young people about organ transplantation is not difficult. Their lives are filled with situations ripe for discussing the topic starting from school, church to community activity. The subject is intrinsically interesting, not difficult to understand and appeals to young people's altruism. Aim: This study assessed the influence of an educational programme on organ donation and transplantation delivered by transplant coordinator on forming students' attitudes and opinions towards organ donation and transplantation during the educational training.
Material/Methods: A total of 758 students of 25 secondary schools were asked about their knowledge and attitudes of organ donation and transplantation during the 45-minutes lesson provided by transplant coordinator. There were 8 questions which raised the problems of donation, transplantation, donor card and family. The lesson consisted of: a presentation of basic facts of organ donation, educational film as well as discussion.
Results: The educational program increased the intention of the students and their will to sign a donor card (more than 1500 donor cards were distributed) and more than 90% of students wanted to sign a donor card. Almost everybody was ready to agree to give their organs away after their death (92%). The students talked to their family informing them about their decision (56.6%M & 54.4%F). Positive outcome expectancy of this programme is independent decision - making and increase of knowledge. We didn't notice negative outcome.
Conclusions: The proposed educational programme can successfully encourage teenagers to make well considered choices regarding organ donation (95% of young people well evaluated the prepared programme) and forming attitudes.