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Transplantation. 2004 Mar 27;77(6):874-80.

The association of donor center characteristics with attrition from the national marrow donor registry.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.



The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) has approximately 5 million registered potential donors and continues to add more than 30,000 new recruits to the registry monthly. However, more than 30% of potential donors are not available or decline to donate at key decision points in the donation process. Although previous researchers have examined the association of individual donor characteristics with attrition from the registry, no published studies have investigated the role of donor center characteristics or features of the donor centers' environment on attrition rates.


Donor center coordinators from 72 NMDP centers completed questionnaires that included items regarding donor center location and organization, recruitment strategies, and registry management. Center-specific registry composition data and attrition rates were gathered from the NMDP database.


Analyses indicated that higher attrition was found at larger centers that needed more center staff and volunteers to deal with larger workloads and more DR-typing requests. Attrition was also higher among centers located in highly populated, urban environments, with larger minority and less stable populations.


The results indicate that the NMDP may need to tailor donor center retention expectations to account for certain unchangeable characteristics (e.g., center size and population stability) and to develop internal strategies to address the unique characteristics of each donor center (e.g., current performance level or improvement needs).

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