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02 July 2015 : Original article  

Giving Your Last Gift: A Study of the Knowledge, Attitude and Information of Greek Students Regarding Organ Donation

Vasiliki KatsariABDEF, Philip J. DomeyerACDEF, Pavlos SarafisDF, Kyriakos SouliotisAD

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.894510

Ann Transplant 2015; 20:373-380

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Organ donation rates in Greece are the lowest in the European Union. Studying and improving young students’ awareness may increase organ donation rates. This study aimed to investigate young students’ knowledge, attitude and information regarding organ donation and whether they are modified by putative predictors.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A 62-item electronic questionnaire was sent to 1451 eligible students aged 18–30 years in 16 Greek public technical schools. Two composite scales (knowledge and attitude) were created. The multivariate statistical analysis included ordinal logistic and linear regression, as appropriate.

RESULTS: Only 37.9% of the students knew the correct definition of organ donation, 40.3% knew which organs can be donated, 27.4% were informed about the new Greek legislation, and 83.1% acknowledged the need for better information. Although 60.5% would donate an organ after death, only 16.1% would become living donors. Although 83.1% of the students declared knowing what brain death means, 18.6% believe that a brain-dead person could fully recover and 32.3% are unsure about it. Being a health professional or a blood donor, the parent’s educational level, the wish to donate all organs after death, the information from announcements or posters, the fear of organ removal after death without prior consent, the consent for autopsy, the wish for better information, and the misbelief that a brain-dead person could fully recover emerged as important predictors of the knowledge and attitude, regarding organ donation.

CONCLUSIONS: An important lack of knowledge and misperceptions were noted regarding organ donation. Significant predictors were identified.

Keywords: Brain Death, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Students, Tissue and Organ Procurement

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Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358
Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358