African American Present Perceptions of Organ Donation: A Pilot Study

Purpose: The purpose of this pilot research project is to explore each of the five general areas of reluctance associated with organ donation among African Americans. These areas include: (l)a lack of awareness, (2) lack of trust by the medical profession, (3) fear of premature death, (4) discrimination, and (5) religious beliefs and misconceptions. Strategies will be explored that may help dispel the misconceptions about organ donation, and, at the same, increase awareness of the need for African Americans to become organ donors. Method: A culturally sensitive 10-item survey was administered online to 70 African Americans to identify their perceptions about the five concerns related to participation in the organ donation program. Participants were recruited from clergy and sororities. Results: Of the 70 African Americans who were sent the survey, 55 of the respondents completed the survey to yield a 78.6% rate of return. Most participants reported having some reservation concerning organ donation, and many of them reported that their reservations were related to their mistrust of the medical profession. Conclusion: The perceptions of African Americans concerning organ donation remain an issue. The 5 areas of reluctance remain at the forefront for decision making in terms of becoming an organ donor. Continued education is needed in order to help dispel these issues. Key Words: African American, Perceptions, Organ Donation, Health Disparities.

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