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Demographics of Organ Donors in Hawaii and Determining the Effectiveness of a Single Booth Based Intervention on a College Community

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Title: Demographics of Organ Donors in Hawaii and Determining the Effectiveness of a Single Booth Based Intervention on a College Community
Authors: Huang, Alicia
Instructor: Collier, Abby
Issue Date: 16 Jul 2013
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: The critical shortage of donors compared to the demand for organs and tissues remains a major medical problem moving into the 21st century. Trends in demographics and socioeconomic status between donors and non-donors may be key for understanding how to better target nondonor populations. To gain an understanding of the knowledge level, attitudes and opinions of college students towards organ donation and to compare this with the demographics of potential organ donor residents in the state of Hawaii (HI), we used an anonymous 15-item survey. This survey was administered to participants at the University of Hawaii-Manoa after they had spoken with an Organ Donor Center of Hawaii educator. These educators were present in an educational booth at Campus Center during a campus-wide health promotion event. The Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) database of Organ Donors in HI and the U.S. Census Bureau database were used for comparison of college demographics to those of potential Organ Donors in HI and the general demographics of HI respectively. The average age of potential organ donors in HI is 47.5 yr and the average age of donors from our survey was 27.2 yr indicating that; in general, college-aged students are not the prime donor demographic in HI. While Caucasians are a minority in HI, they constitute 27% of the state’s population and 27% of donors in our college survey, indicating that Caucasians donate organs at rates commensurate to their population levels. Asian students made up 18% of donors in our survey and constitute 38% of the state’s population, indicating Asians donate organs at rates much below their population-representative levels in HI. A majority of the college participants reported feeling knowledgeable about organ donation, but survey responses regarding understanding of organ donation varied in their accuracy. Interestingly, most respondents that had organ donor cards also had indicated donor status on their licenses. This implies that donor registry cards may be a duplication of effort with DMV license determination. Almost half of our respondents had not discussed their decision to donate with family (45%). We conclude that recruitment on college campuses can only be effective with adequate advanced planning and promotion. Additionally, based on student responses and participation compared to the potential student respondents passing the site, the standard booth-based education and promotion is almost certainly not the optimal method for recruiting college students in HI. Finally, college aged-students in general are not discussing their wishes to donate organs with their family, which almost certainly contributes to the low level of participation in this age group. More effort when educating college-aged students should be focused on stimulating discussions with families to ensure they are aware of donation preference and on using college-age appropriate educational strategies.
Pages/Duration: 101 pages
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