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Prog Transplant. 2006 Sep;16(3):247-52.

Providing support to families considering the option of organ donation: an innovative training method.

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  • 1Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA.


Families must make decisions about organ donation for a loved one during intensely emotional circumstances in the hospital, where support from others is crucial to their coping. Research about families' experiences during the decision-making process regarding donating their loved ones' organs has shown that quality of hospital care and receiving psychosocial support are important factors influencing their decision. Typically, a donation coordinator from the local organ procurement organization approaches the family about the option of donation, whereas the role of medical and nursing staff is to convey diagnostic and prognostic information to the family. Currently, no requirement is in place for training of professional staff in communication skills for approaching and interacting with families about organ donation. This article discusses a simulated training method in empathic communication used for supporting families who are approached about organ donation. This innovative method can be adapted to and should be tested with professional audiences.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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