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Prog Transplant. 2012 Sep;22(3):317-22.

Personal attitudes and beliefs regarding organ and tissue donation: a cross-sectional survey of Australian emergency department clinicians.

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Emergency Practice Innovation Centre, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.



Resources are currently targeted at increasing organ and tissue donation rates from emergency departments in Australia. Health care professionals' beliefs and personal attitudes regarding organ and tissue donation are known to influence professional attitudes and practice.


To assess emergency department clinicians' general beliefs and personal attitudes toward organ and tissue donation, how general beliefs influence personal attitudes, and which demographic characteristics are related.


A cross-sectional online survey, based on available literature and the validated and widely used Hospital Attitude Survey (DonorAction).


Data were collected from 811 Australian emergency department clinicians, invited to participate through the College of Emergency Nursing Australasia, and the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine.


Most clinicians were very supportive of organ and tissue donation (96.2%), believed that organ and tissue donation can save lives (98.5%), and that organs and tissues will be allocated fairly (82.6%); however, 30.1% did not agree that organ and tissue donation can help the next of kin cope with grief. Holding positive general beliefs increased positive personal attitudes toward organ and tissue donation (P < .001). Most reported willingness to donate their own organs and tissues after death (90%) and give family consent for their children (79.6%) or adult family (86.6%) member to donate. Eighty-six percent had discussed their wishes with next of kin, but only 50.7% had registered on the Australian Organ Donor Register. Older clinicians, male clinicians, and clinicians of certain religious and cultural backgrounds were identified as having less positive general beliefs and personal attitudes.


Although Australian emergency department clinicians are generally positive toward organ and tissue donation, some groups could potentially benefit from education to change their beliefs and attitudes about organ and tissue donation further.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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