Attitudes and Preferred Information Sources in Medical Students and Family Doctors Regarding Organ Donation and Transplantation

Background: Organ transplantation is a modern treatment for many patients, however current organ shortage determines the need to identify strategies to eliminate barriers and increase organ donation rate. Aim of the study is to determine present and future health care professionals’ attitude and methods of further knowledge acquisition on the topic of organ donation and transplantation.
Material and method: We performed a cross-sectional survey in a study population consisting of preclinical medical undergraduates and of general practitioner doctors, the self administered questionnaires were anonymously statistically analyzed, the association between variables was considered significant for values p <0.05.
Results: One-hundred forty students and 48 doctors participated in our study, both groups showed positive attitude towards organ donation, 81.4% and 68.8% respectively were willing to donate own organs after death. Previous family discussions determined significant change of attitude among students but not within the group of doctors. Formal earlier education on the topic of transplantation was reported by 25% of the students but by none of the doctors. Preferred information channels are medical journal articles in both groups (37.9% vs. 35%), additionally medical students would prefer lectures and seminars while doctors would like to receive information during conferences and congresses. Internet is chosen (30–32%) over classical mass media.
Conclusions: although health care professionals have a natural inclination towards accepting donation and transplantation, providing information is essential in structuring their attitude in the way of promoting an environment that has a positive influence on organ donation rates.

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