Primary care physicians' attitudes and practices regarding discussing organ donation with their patients

Center for Reducing Health Disparities, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, MetroHealth Campus of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44109, USA.
Journal of the National Medical Association (Impact Factor: 0.96). 01/2010; 102(1):52-8.
Source: PubMed


Among the general population, discussing organ donation with a primary care provider may be associated with increased willingness to donate. However, the frequency with which primary care providers hold these discussions with their patients has not been reported.
Cross-sectional mail and an Internet survey of validated questions regarding organ donation were done.
A national sample of 831 primary care physicians. black, and Hispanic physicians were oversampled.
Few physicians reported receiving formal training in donation (17%). Only 5% of physicians have donor cards available in their practice, and only 11% have donation information available in their practice. While 30% of physicians reported discussing end-of-life care with their patients, fewer than 4% reported discussing donation with their patients. However, only 36% felt that discussing donation was outside of their scope of practice. In a multivariate regression model, predictors of discussing donation with patients included having received formal education about organ donation (odds ratio [OR], 2.6; p < .05) and discussing end-of-life care with patients (OR, 12.8; p < .001).
Very few primary care physicians reported discussing organ donation with their patients despite the majority agreeing that it was within their scope of practice. Primary care physicians who had received education on the subject or who regularly discuss end-of-life care with their patients were more likely to discuss donation. Efforts to improve donation in the general population should include a focus on understanding and improving communication about organ donation between providers and their patients.

Download full-text


Available from: John Daryl Thornton, Oct 03, 2015
1 Follower
57 Reads
  • Source
    • "In a recent U.S. study, very few primary care physicians reported having received appropriate training in medical school, with most of them rating their knowledge as limited (Thornton, Curtis, & Allen, 2010). Organ donation remains an extremely uncommon discussion topic, despite the fact that 30% of physicians discuss end-of-life issues with more than half of their patients (Thornton et al., 2010). More nurses, compared with physicians, expressed concerns about kidneys being removed after death and about the medical team's intention to preserve the life of a potential donor, reflecting their mistrust to the medical system. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Identified barriers of organ donation advancement include lack of knowledge, personal beliefs, and a negative attitude from health professionals. This article reports on current knowledge and attitudes toward kidney donation among nurses and physicians in a Greek general hospital. A previously used questionnaire was applied. More physicians than nurses were donor card holders, with registration rates being lower than expected. Over half of the participants did not consider themselves well informed about registering as a kidney donor. Older nurses differed significantly from younger ones in their willingness to become live donors if an adult required a kidney. Nurses who were blood donors had higher odds ratio of feeling well informed when compared with nurses who were not blood donors. Integrating organ donation issues into undergraduate health science curricula and continuous education interdisciplinary programs is essential in increasing awareness, eradicating negativism, and reversing inertia.
    Applied nursing research: ANR 11/2012; 25(4):283-90. DOI:10.1016/j.apnr.2012.05.001 · 0.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "In the USA, the findings of a cross-sectional mail and Internet-based survey showed that only 4% of physicians had discussed organ donation with their patients and 11% had relevant information in their practice [37]. Most had a limited knowledge about organ donation [37] and two thirds of the physicians (64%) said that they did not sufficient staff to adequately approach the issue of donation [37]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Kidney transplantation is associated with greater long term survival rates and improved quality of life compared with dialysis. Continuous growth in the number of patients with kidney failure has not been matched by an increase in the availability of kidneys for transplantation. This leads to long waiting lists, higher treatment costs and negative health outcomes. Misunderstandings, public uncertainty and issues of trust in the medical system, that limit willingness to be registered as a potential donor, could be addressed by community dissemination of information and new family practice initiatives that respond to individuals' personal beliefs and concerns regarding organ donation and transplantation. Tackling both personal and public inertia on organ donation is important for any community oriented kidney donation campaign.
    BMC Health Services Research 05/2010; 10(1):127. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-10-127 · 1.71 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "En otro estudio, Amaral et al. (2002) realizaron un sondeo a un amplio grupo de profesores de medicina de un hospital público universitario de Brasil (Hospital Guilherme Álvaro) y comprobaron que 44% no sabía diagnosticar la muerte encefálica y mitad no sabía adoptar las medidas necesarias para el mantenimiento de la persona fallecida. Más recientemente, en un estudio de ámbito nacional, Thornton, Curtis y Allen (2010) comprobaron que apenas 17% de los médicos internistas y de cabecera encuestados había recibido formación sobre donación. También Deulofeu et al. (en prensa) han obtenido evidencia del desconocimiento de algunos aspectos clave entre médicos de urgencias, emergencias y atención primaria, además de comprobar que apenas el 52,3%, el 60,3% y el 28,0%, respectivamente, se consideraron capaces de valorar a un fallecido como potencial donante. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Health care professionals who work at Critical Care Units (CCU) constitute a key group in the process of obtaining organs for transplantation. For this reason, and with the purpose of understanding the set of variables associated to the process involved in identifying potential organ donors, a survey was conducted among professionals from CCU in three important hospitals in Lisbon. A multivariate model has been elaborated using logistic regression analysis. According to the model, variables associated to the process of identifying a potential organ donor are: perception of the level of information about organ donation and transplantation; when information about this topic was received in the year prior to the present research; perception about own capability to assess a patient as a potential organ donor; perception about the amount of work when an organ donor is identified; perception about the attitude of next-of-kin toward organ removal; and perception about the reversibility of the brain death.
Show more