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Sonia Radunz, Benjamin Juntermanns, Matthias Heuer, Nils R. Frühauf, Andreas Paul, Gernot M. Kaiser
Ann Transplant 2012; 17(1): 140-144
Background: The persisting shortage of organs for transplantation could be reduced by increasing the willingness to donate organs. An appropriate education and a positive attitude of medical students and future physicians towards organ donation may have a positive impact on the attitudes of the general public.
Material/Methods: During the summer semester 2010 we conducted a voluntary educational intervention study concerning organ donation among medical students in the course of the main surgery lecture at the University of Essen, Germany.
Results: The survey comprised 94 questionnaires. At the beginning of the lecture there were 67% of organ donor card carriers among the students. An additional 20% imagined they might carry an organ donor card in the future. 37% needed more information regarding organ donation. After the lecture 13% were still not willing to carry an organ donor card in the future. 18% of the students required further information. 42% of the students rated their attitude towards organ donation to be influenced positively by the lecture, 57% of the students stated there was no influence. One student documented a negative influence by the lecture towards organ donation.
Conclusions: Well-directed interventions are needed to sensitize young adults to the topic of organ donation. Better understanding of medical students and future physicians in the field of organ donation will help them to become disseminators for this important topic in our society.