Notifying blood donors of infection: results of a donor satisfaction survey

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Abstract

Background/Objectives:

When NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) confirms a blood donation to have markers of infection, the donor is contacted by letter to arrange a discussion about the test results and onward care. A survey was carried out to assess the level of satisfaction with this process.

Materials/Methods:

A questionnaire was sent to 335 donors who had been notified by NHSBT in 2008 and 2009 that they had tested positive for hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV). Ratings were made using Likert scales, where the respondent indicated the level of agreement or satisfaction with statements about the initial notification letter and the subsequent post-test discussion (PTD) with the NHSBT clinician.

Results:

There was an overall 47·5% (159/335) response rate. Fifty-eight percent (91/157) agreed that they were satisfied with the letter, but 30% (46/152) disagreed that it was easy to stay calm (average score 3·2). Scores for the letter were significantly lower in HIV and HTLV than in hepatitis for several questions. Scores for the discussion were in general higher than the initial letter, with 90% (114/127) satisfied overall, although 2 of 19 HIV positive donors remained dissatisfied.

Conclusion:

Overall, most donors were satisfied with the notification process, although scores were slightly lower for HTLV and HIV. Further audit is planned; in particular to remeasure the satisfaction with, and understanding of, the notification letter for HTLV positive donors and the telephone PTD.

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