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Soc Sci Med. 2013 Nov;96:86-94. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.07.022. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

A systematic review and meta-analysis of antecedents of blood donation behavior and intentions.

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The Australian School of Business, School of Management, The University of New South Wales, Level 5, Building E12, New South Wales 2052, Australia. Electronic address:


This meta-analysis sought to identify the strongest antecedents of blood donation behavior and intentions. It synthesized the results of 24 predictive correlational studies of donation behavior and 37 studies of donation intentions. The antecedents were grouped into six research programs: (1) the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and its extensions, (2) prosocial motivation, (3) affective expectations, (4) donor site experience, (5) past donation behavior, and (6) donor demographics. Antecedent categories were cross-validated by multiple coders, and combined effect sizes were analyzed using a random-effects model. For donation behavior, medium positive associations were found with five of the constructs from the extended TPB: intentions to donate, perceived behavioral control, attitude toward donation, self-efficacy and donor role identity. Other antecedents displaying a positive association with donation behavior included anticipated regret for not donating, number of past donations and donor age. Donor experiences at the collection site in the form of temporary deferral or adverse reactions had a medium negative association with behavior. For donation intentions, strong positive associations were observed for perceived behavioral control, attitude, self-efficacy, role identity and anticipated regret. Medium positive associations were observed for personal moral norm, subjective norm, satisfaction, and service quality. All other potential antecedents had weak or non-significant associations with behavior and intentions. Several of these associations were moderated by between-study differences, including donor experience, the period of data collection in which donation behavior was observed, and the use of a nominal (yes/no return) versus a ratio measure of donation behavior. Collectively, the results underscore the importance of enhancing donors' attitudes towards donation and building their perceived behavioral control and self-efficacy to donate. Further, minimizing the risk of adverse reactions and enacting re-recruitment policies for temporarily deferred donors will help protect future donation behavior. Implications of these findings for blood collection agencies and researchers are discussed.


Blood donation; Blood donors; Meta-analysis; Prosocial behavior; Prosocial motivation; Theory of Planned Behavior

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