Factors influencing blood donation: a cross‐sectional survey in Guangzhou, China

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Excerpt

Blood collection and supply play an important role in healthcare. It is always challenging to collect sufficient and safe blood to meet clinical demands in almost every country. China has the largest population in the world, and the demand for blood transfusion in China is ever increasing (WHO, 2010). Voluntary non‐remunerated blood donors are considered the safest source of blood and blood products (Yu et al., 2013), and recruiting a large number of these donors is vital worldwide. Therefore, knowing the characteristics of donors and non‐donors, as well as factors associated with blood donation, is beneficial for the recruitment of blood donors.
In China, by complying with government policy at all levels, local blood centres and non‐governmental organisations (NGOs) have strengthened their efforts to raise the awareness of blood donation (O'Brien et al., 2013). Coupled with preferential blood use and reimbursement policy (Guangzhou Municipal Government, 2004), the situation of the lack of voluntary donors has rapidly been improved (Li et al., 2013). Even so, most cities in China continue to face blood supply shortage because of many factors, such as charity scandals from China's Red Cross Society (BBC, 2011), internet rumours on misfortune in blood donation and increasing clinical demands (Wang et al., 2010).
Although factors that affect blood donation have not been fully understood and may vary from country to country, altruism (Hillgrove et al., 2012; Cai & Feng, 2013; Li et al., 2013; Smith et al., 2013; Zhang et al., 2013) or helping others (Harrington et al., 2007; Bao et al., 2012) has been reported as the major reason for blood donation in most studies in China and other countries. Other reported reasons for donating blood include reciprocity, warm glow, guilt and incentive (Bednall & Bove, 2011; Ferguson, 2015). A satisfactory experience from participating in previous blood donation programmes is the principal factor that influences repeated donations (Chen et al., 2012; Martin‐Santana & Beerli‐Palacio, 2012). Concerns over health risks or being worried about negative health effects during and after blood donations (Bao et al., 2012; Li, 2013) is one of the most common blood donation obstacles for non‐donors in China, whereas fear (Harrington et al., 2007; Duboz & Cunéo, 2010) or anxiety (France et al., 2013) is the main reason for non‐donation in other countries. These differences may be because of culture and blood donation concepts. Most published studies were conducted in developed countries, where people generally consider blood donation as a voluntary, regular and common social responsibility (Sojka & Sojka, 2008; Bani & Strepparava, 2011). However, few studies in China have analysed both donors and non‐donors simultaneously. Additionally, other factors associated with blood donation, such as recruitment methods, services and incentives, were not included in most of these studies. Therefore, a comprehensive analysis of influencing factors for blood donation in China would benefit the movement and organisation of voluntary blood donation in China and in other developing countries as well.
Although the exact factors affecting blood donation have not been fully understood, many cities in China have implemented new policies in order to improve their blood donation programmes. For example, in Pujiang City, Zhejiang Province, extra 1–3 points would be added to the senior high school entrance examination results of children if their parents donate 4000–8000 mL of blood (He, 2014). Because of these unusual policies and practices, the concept of blood donation might have changed for both blood donors and non‐donors, influencing the recruitment of donors and even the quality of donated blood. The present study was designed to comprehensively examine factors that affect blood donation in Guangzhou, China by simultaneously comparing donor and non‐donor characteristics.
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