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Date of Award

2000

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Roger Katz

First Committee Member

Kenneth Beauchamp

Second Committee Member

Roseann Hannon

Abstract

Over the last 30 years, organ transplantation has become a common life saving surgery. However, organ transplantation is still limited by a lack of viable organs due to the small number of individuals who sign a donor card or agree to donate their next-of-kin's organs. What has been found to be effective to increase donation rates is to bring donation “closer to home” by using public awareness campaigns, and by increasing the emotional connect between the donor and the recipient. The current study attempted to increase the emotional connection between the donor and the recipient by providing the donor family with general, anonymous demographic information about potential recipients at the time of the request for a next-of-kin's organs. Both the control group ( N = 169) and the experimental group ( N = 162) viewed an educational video about organ donation, followed by a dramatization of an organ procurement coordinator requesting participants to donate their next-of-kin's organs. The dramatization for the experimental group contained general, anonymous demographic information (e.g., age, gender, number of children) about potential recipients. The control group dramatization did not contain any demographic information about potential recipients, which is similar to the actual request process currently used by the organ procurement coordinators. As hypothesized, providing general, anonymous demographic information about potential recipients increased the willingness of the donor family to donate their next-of-kin's organs as measured by a significantly higher score on the experimental group's Willingness to Donate a Next of Kin's Organs Survey. Furthermore, providing recipient information also increased the willingness for the participants of this study to take action towards becoming organ donors. Finally, both groups showed an increase in knowledge about organ donation as well as an increase in positive attitudes and a decrease in negative attitudes toward organ donation. The implications of these results are discussed.

Pages

67

ISBN

9780599848788 , 0599848782

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