Pro-donation behaviours of nursing students from the four countries of the UK

McGlade, Donal, McClenahan, Carol and Pierscionek, Barbara (2014) Pro-donation behaviours of nursing students from the four countries of the UK. Plos One, 9(3), e91405. ISSN (online) 1932-6203


BACKGROUND: The effectiveness of the organ donation system depends on the health professionals involved in procurement and in dealing with donors and their families. Concerns about lack of knowledge and experience of organ donation have been expressed among such professionals but there is a paucity of literature to indicate the basis of such concerns and where knowledge may be lacking. Given that regional variations in organ donation rates exist in the UK, this study investigates knowledge about and attitudes towards organ donation among student nurses in different countries of the UK and examines regional variations. METHODS: A questionnaire was distributed to 667 student nurses (female:male = 582∶85) aged 18 to 50 years (mean [SD] 25.4 [7.1] years) recruited from a total of five Universities (Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, England) during the period of January to September 2011. RESULTS: Registration behaviour among participants was shown to vary depending upon many different factors that include birthplace, residency, fear of death and concerns of medical distrust. CONCLUSIONS: Regional variations in organ donation behaviour in the UK were found in the cohorts of student nurses who participated in this study. These variations include willingness to register and to donate specific body parts and not others. The relationship between attitude and behaviour and how this may influence the decision making process of organ donation, as well as the underlying factors that result in regional variations, require further investigation.

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