A survey of South Asian attitudes to organ donation in the United Kingdom

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Abstract

Background:

South Asians in the United Kingdom are overrepresented on the organ transplant waiting list but underrepresented as organ donors. In this study, we surveyed South Asian opinion with regards to organ donation.

Methods:

Voluntary completion of an anonymous survey was promoted amongst South Asians by both online and paper-based approaches. Logistic regression analysis was performed to assess independent predictors for organ donation approval.

Results:

Five hundred and fifty-six survey responses were analyzed in this study. 68.4% of respondents agreed with organ donation but only 13.3% were registered organ donors. Muslims were less likely than Hindus or Sikhs to agree with organ donation (59.3% vs. 92.2% vs. 88.7%, p < 0.001) or be registered donors (5.0% vs. 40.3% vs. 25.8%, p < 0.001), respectively. Religious guidance was important for Muslims, but parental approval of greater importance for Hindus. On logistic regression analysis, variables independently associated with organ donation approval were; young age, independent living from parents, non-Muslims, awareness of organ donation shortages, family member on dialysis/registered donor, and more liberal degrees of religious belief (all p < 0.05).

Conclusion:

South Asians in the United Kingdom are a heterogeneous group of different faiths, cultures, and values. We believe targeted strategies are required to raise awareness of organ donation amongst South Asians.

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