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J Natl Med Assoc. 2007 Feb;99(2):131-7.

Assessing racial and ethnic differences in medical student knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding organ donation.

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  • 1Case Western Reserve University (Edwards), Cleveland, OH, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Previous studies have demonstrated that informed healthcare providers could increase patient willingness to donate. We assessed medical students' knowledge and attitudes to determine their preparedness to encourage organ donation.

METHODS:

500 first- and second-year students attending one of three Ohio medical schools completed the 41-item questionnaire (93% cooperation rate). The questions evaluated students' donation knowledge, training, exposure and perceived barriers as well as their willingness to donate.

RESULTS:

On univariate analysis, Asians (OR: 0.5, 95% CI: 0.2-0.9) and blacks (OR: 0.1, 95% CI: 0.1-0.2) were less willing than whites to donate. On multivariate analysis, race was no longer significantly associated with willingness to donate,Three factors were associated with a decreased donation willingness: wanting burial with organs intact (OR: 0.1, 95%CI: 0.1-0.2), having personal conflicts with donation (OR: 0.2, 95%Cl: 0.1-0.6), and concern that carrying a donor card will lead to insufficient medical care (OR: 0.2, 95% Cl: 0.1-0.4). Of note, knowledge was not associated with willingness to donate.

CONCLUSION:

In this medical student cohort, minorities were less willing to donate. Three factors were associated with a decreased willingness to donate regardless of student race. Addressing these barriers may increase student donation willingness, and physicians should encourage donation discussions with their patients.

PMID:
17366949
PMCID:
PMC2569425
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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