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Community attitudes to deceased organ donation: A focus group study

Irving, Michelle, Tong, Allison, Jan, Stehen, Cass, Alan, Chadban, Steven, Allen, Richard D., Craig, Jonathan C., Wong, Germaine and Howard, Kirsten (2012). Community attitudes to deceased organ donation: A focus group study. Transplantation,93(10):1064-1069.

Document type: Journal Article

IRMA ID 84473293xPUB34
Title Community attitudes to deceased organ donation: A focus group study
Author Irving, Michelle
Tong, Allison
Jan, Stehen
Cass, Alan
Chadban, Steven
Allen, Richard D.
Craig, Jonathan C.
Wong, Germaine
Howard, Kirsten
Journal Name Transplantation
Publication Date 2012
Volume Number 93
Issue Number 10
ISSN 0041-1337   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84861092353
Start Page 1064
End Page 1069
Total Pages 5
Place of Publication United States
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Background: Despite broad community support for organ donation, there is a chronic shortage of donor organs for transplantation. This study elicited community attitudes on deceased organ donation and the current Australian organ donation system.

Methods: Thirteen focus groups with 114 participants aged between 18 and 75 years. Qualitative analysis using a grounded theory approach was used.

Results: Participants were generally positive toward deceased organ donation, but this did not always translate to decisions to be a donor. Three main categories of themes emerged. (1) Participants held core beliefs that both encouraged donation, such as "giving is good" and "saving lives," and discouraged donation, such as loss of body dignity, need for body wholeness, and differing medical care for donors. (2) A range of factors could influence how core beliefs were weighted in the decision-making process, including family, knowledge, information, media, grief, apathy, and fear. (3) Participants discussed the need for a simpler consent system where family members could not overrule their donation decision, greater public awareness for organ donation, and the availability of more information on the organ donation process.

Conclusions: Opportunities exist to improve deceased organ donation rates by education to improve confidence in the donation process, positive media coverage, and clear information on each religion's stance on organ donation. Options for greater public recognition for organ donors should be explored. Finally, our findings suggest that aspects of the current donation consent system are not aligned with community values, and reforms should be debated publicly.
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Created: Tue, 24 Feb 2015, 12:27:00 CST