Journal of Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Medicine 2012 , Vol 3, Issue 2
Level of Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Organ Donation and Transplantation in High School Students in the Zeytinburnu District of Istanbul
Merve Tarhan 1 , Hüseyin Yıldırımoğlu 1 , Sedat Altın 1 , Levent Dalar 2 , Adnan Sayar 3
1Yedikule Göğüs Hastalıkları ve Göğüs Cerrahisi Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi, Organ Nakil Koordinasyon Ünitesi, İstanbul, Türkiye
2Yedikule Göğüs Hastalıkları ve Göğüs Cerrahisi Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi, Solunum Yoğun Bakım Ünitesi, İstanbul, Türkiye
3Yedikule Göğüs Hastalıkları ve Göğüs Cerrahisi Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi, 4. Göğüs Cerrahisi Kliniği, İstanbul, Türkiye
DOI : 10.5152/dcbybd.2012.08

Aim: Young people, as future adults, must have a good knowledge about organ donation and transplantation. Organ shortage can be prevented by giving information on order to develop positive attitudes among young people. The aim of this descriptive study was to determine the role of information about organ transplantation and donation in final-year high school students in the Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul, and to assess their knowledge and attitudes on the subject. 

Material and Methods: In 2010-2011 academic year, 2,000 senior high school students in the Zeytinburnu district were informed about organ donation and transplantation; 845 of these students filled out the survey before and after receiving the information and were included in the study. A questionnaire was administered to 1,022 students before receiving information and to 845 students after receiving information. The first part of the questionnaire consisted of seven questions related to descriptive characteristics, the second part three questions dedicated to measure attention, the third part 20 questions measuring the knowledge about the subject and the fourth part 10 questions about attitudes. The McNemar test, Wilcoxon signed rank test and t-test were used to analyze the results.

Results: Only 58.3% of the non-informed students stated that they had information about organ donation and transplantation, but this rate increased to 84% after being informed about the subject within the framework of this study (p<0.001). Although television was the most frequent source of information mentioned by the non-informed respondents (37.9%), among the informed students, the most frequent source of information mentioned was healthcare professionals (44.9%). Before being informed, 61.2% of the students stated that they were in favor of organ donation and transplantation and this rate increased to 81.1% after being informed (p<0.001). The differences between the pre-and post-information scores on the level of knowledge and student attitudes toward organ transplantation and donation were statistically significant (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Young people may be future organ donors or future patients awaiting organ transplantation, but their sources of information about organ transplantation and donation are inadequate. Being informed about organ donation and transplantation is the first step in developing a positive attitude regarding organ donation. Both visual media and information programs at school should be used to increase the awareness of young people on this subject.

Keywords : Attitudes, brain death, giving information, high school student, organ donation, organ transplantation