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Prog Transplant. 2002 Mar;12(1):52-60.

Decoupling: what is it and does it really help increase consent to organ donation?

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  • 1School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.


Although the notion of decoupling is simple and potentially controllable by organ donation requestors, evidence to date of its potential has been inconsistent. The impact of the timing of requests was analyzed using data from a study of organ donor-eligible patients and their families (N = 420), involving 9 trauma hospitals located in southwest Pennsylvania and northeast Ohio. In-depth interviews where conducted with family members, healthcare professionals, and organ procurement organization staff involved in the process. Only a weak effect was found for the impact of timing on the decision using a bivariate, correlational analysis. Moreover, we found that raising the issue before rather than after the pronouncement of death was most strongly associated with consent to donation. This effect disappeared after examining decoupling in relation to other factors. However, active consideration of the patient's donation wishes and a clear understanding of the families' initial inclination toward donation were associated with consent to organ donation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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