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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

Effect of an Educational Program on Attitudes towards Deceased Organ Donation

Minoru Murakami, Shingo Fukuma, Masaya Ikezoe, Mariko Nakamura, Yosuke Yamamoto, Shin Yamazaki, Shunichi Fukuhara

Department of Healthcare Epidemiology, School of Public Health in the Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

Ann Transplant 2015; 20:269-278

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.893325

Available online: 2015-05-14

Published: 2015-05-14


BACKGROUND: Organ shortage for transplantation remains a serious global issue. We assessed the effects of an educational program on changing attitudes of medical students towards deceased organ donation.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We conducted a non-randomized trial involving medical students who had not previously signed a donor card. Third-year medical students (n=86, program group) received an information pamphlet followed by a 60-min classroom lecture by a transplant physician who was himself a kidney transplant recipient and finally another information pamphlet containing a donor card. First-year students (n=87, control group) received the same two pamphlets only. The primary outcome was signing a donor card. The secondary outcomes included willingness to sign a donor card, willingness to donate organs, family discussion about deceased organ donation, and knowledge. Outcomes were measured by questionnaires before and after the intervention.
RESULTS: A higher proportion of students of the program group signed a donor card than the pamphlet group (8.1% vs. 0%, respectively). After propensity score adjustment, the program was associated with higher proportion of willingness to sign a donor card (91.9% vs. 73.6%; adjusted proportion ratio 1.28 [95% CI 1.11–1.48]), family discussion (18.6% vs. 6.9%; 2.85 [1.15–7.03]), and increased knowledge. There were no significant differences between the two groups in willingness to donate organs after brain death (64.0% vs. 60.9%; 1.12 [0.90–1.40]) and cardiac death (77.9% vs. 71.3%; 1.11 [0.93–1.33]).
CONCLUSIONS: The educational program delivered by a transplant physician and a recipient may alter the attitudes of medical students towards deceased organ donation.

Keywords: Education, Lectures, Tissue and Organ Procurement, Transplantation