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Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2008 Mar;9(2):180-5. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0b013e3181668605.

Pediatric organ donation: what factors most influence parents' donation decisions?

Author information

  • 1Transplant Center, Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA. jrrodrig@bidmc.harvard.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify factors that influence parents' decisions when asked to donate a deceased child's organs.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional design with data collection via structured telephone interviews.

SETTING:

One organ procurement organization in the Southeastern United States.

PARTICIPANTS:

Seventy-four parents (49 donors, 25 nondonors) of donor-eligible deceased children who were previously approached by coordinators from one organ procurement organization in the southeastern United States.

INTERVENTIONS:

None.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

Multivariate analyses showed that organ donation was more likely when the parent was a registered organ donor (odds ratio [OR] = 1.4, confidence interval [CI] = 1.1, 2.7), the parent had favorable organ donation beliefs (OR = 5.5, CI = 2.7, 12.3), the parent was exposed to organ donation information before the child's death (OR = 2.6, CI = 1.7, 10.3), a member of the child's healthcare team first mentioned organ donation (OR = 1.4, CI = 1.2, 3.7), the requestor was perceived as sensitive to the family's needs (OR = 0.4, CI = 0.2, 0.7), the family had sufficient time to discuss donation (OR = 5.2, CI = 1.4, 11.6), and family members were in agreement about donation (OR = 2.8, CI = 1.3, 5.2).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study identifies several modifiable variables that influence the donation decision-making process for parents. Strategies to facilitate targeted organ donation education and higher consent rates are discussed.

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