A web-Based Education Program to Stimulate Organ Donation Registration Among Lower-Educated Adolescents in the Netherlands: a study protocol for a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

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BackgroundThe gap between the supply and demand of organ donors is still substantial, causing patients to suffer from long waiting times or even die while waiting for an organ. Moreover, the lack of registrations leads to several problems, including the burden on family members and medical professionals when a unregistered individual dies. This article describes a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial (CRCT) study to assess effectiveness and quality of implementation of a web-based program aimed at supporting lower-educated adolescents in making a well-informed decision about organ donation and stimulating them to register this choice.MethodsThe program is a website consisting of three modules: (1) video fragments to elicit discussion, (2) quizzes with tailored feedback and (3) registration forms for practicing purposes. It will be delivered by teachers at Intermediate Vocational Education schools in the Netherlands. The effectiveness will be assessed in a two-group posttest-only randomized design by means of self-administrated questionnaires. Randomization will take place on class level. Each experimental class will be matched with a control class within the same school to optimize equivalence of groups. Both groups will receive the program. Students in the control group will fill in the questionnaire before receiving the program, while the experimental group will do this after. The questionnaire assesses demographics, behavioural determinants (attitude, self-efficacy, knowledge and social outcomes), intention to register (as a donor) and current registration status. Intention to register is the main outcome. Six months after delivery, the registration status will be assessed again. Additionally, a process evaluation will be conducted to evaluate the quality of implementation using both qualitative (i.e. semi-structured interviews) and quantitative (i.e. logbooks, questionnaires, Google Analytics to track user behaviour at the website) methods.ResultsA study protocol to get insight into effectiveness and quality of implementation of a web-based program aimed at stimulating organ donation registration among lower-educated students.ConclusionFindings of the study can help to further improve the program and serve as a basis for a solid dissemination plan. Moreover, the study provides insight in the translation of research into practice of school-based health promotion interventions, which can serve as an example for others.

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