Medical Students’ Knowledge, Attitudes and Willingness of Organ Donation: a cross-sectional study

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Abstract

Introduction

Organ donation after citizens’ death was initiated in the 2010s and great progress had been made since then. But the willingness of organ donation still very low. Our research aimed to investigate the knowledge, attitudes and willingness of organ donation in medical students and identified the factors attributing to organ donation.

Methods

A simple randomized sampling method was adopted. Medical students who were selected from two medical universities were investigated from November 2015 to January 2016 in Tianjin, China. Numerical data were summed up as means and standard deviations. Enumeration data were summarized as frequencies and percentages. The difference between two groups was examined by chi square test or Fisher exact test and a p value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results

400 questionnaires were distributed and withdrew immediately, and 341 (341/400, 85.25%) questionnaires were valid, and used for analysis. Our research revealed that 85.3% respondents were willing to donate. Participants who had blood donation experience showed more positive willingness of organ donation (=5.42, p = 0.02). We found that the positive group was easier to accept the question of “whether you would donate your organs when you applied for a driver license” (=12.13, p = 0.002). The majority participants knew liver (90.6%), kidney (94.1%) and cornea (91.2%) can be transplanted, however, only a few students knew pancreas (13.2%) and intestine (14.4%) can be transplanted (=4.04, p = 0.543). Newspaper and books (71.8%), internet (55.7%) and public service announcements (39.3%) were the most important ways to achieve information for participants, however, only few students (4.5%) implied that they had ever got a course of lecture at school. Those who held negative willingness expressed that traditional values (72.0%), disfigured corpse (66.0%) and imperfect legal system (54.0%) were main reasons.

Conclusion

Medical students showed more positive willingness than other people in China, but the rate was still less than medical students in other countries. The comprehensive publicity policy was defective, and campus donation-related education was lacking. Confucian culture had a greater impact on the participants. Medical students as medical successors should accept more organ donation education, so as to let the people around them to recognize the importance of organ donation.

Conclusion

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Conclusion

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