Around 120,000 people currently need a lifesaving organ transplant in the United States. On average, 22 people die each day while waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. In 2011, over $34 billion dollars were spent on dialysis patients with end-stage renal disease. Only 52% of the national population is registered for organ donation. In Vermont, that number is 44%. This project aimed to clarify some common misconceptions regarding organ donation in the form of a brochure. Participants' subsequent interest and concerns regarding registering as an organ donor were also gauged. A total of 50 people filled out the form. There was a significant positive change in interest regarding registering as an organ donor after reading the informational brochure (p < 0.0001). There was no difference between genders or age groups. People reported that they were neutral to likely (mean = 3.31) regarding registering during an advance directive talk. The most common reasons cited for not registering as organ donors were concerns over organ quality due to age, medical condition, or substance use (6/16), religious or philosophical beliefs (4/16), and needing more time (4/16). Until such a time that we move from an opt-in to opt-out system of organ registration, the only way to maximize the probabilities of having successful organ transplants is to maximize recruitment. This project is proof of concept that an informational brochure can significantly encourage people to register as organ donors. It also provides modest evidence that yearly reminders during advance directive talks on top of the DMV would increase registration.
Organ donation, misconceptions, concerns, opt-in, opt-out
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Clinical Epidemiology | Medical Education | Primary Care
Huynh, Tridu, "Organ Donation: Gauging Perception, Interest, and Clarifying Misconceptions" (2017). Family Medicine Clerkship Student Projects. 223.