However, 80 percent of students in the study indicated they would be receptive to learning more about the topic.
The study was conducted with the goal of determining the most effective ways to convince this population to sign organ-donation cards, or at least to consider the issue favorably and discuss it with family members.
Results of the research appear in the May issue of the Journal of Health Communication.
College students are considered an important target group because they are likely to be of higher economic status, which has been linked positively with intention to sign an organ donor card, said Thomas H. Feeley, Ph.D., lead author on the study. In addition, college students primarily are young and healthy, making them appropriate donor candidates, he said, and as a group they engage in risky behavior, making them more likely to be potential donors.
"The study was quite exploratory and descriptive," said Feeley, an associate professor of communication in the UB School of Informatics and a research assistant professor of family medicine in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. "We wanted to find out where students stand on the issue, to know their intentions," he said. "Most studies don't ask people their intentions outright, but we did. What we found was quite provocative."
The study involved a convenience sample of 271 students from UB and 231 students from the University at Albany. Participants completed a survey designed to collect several types of information: knowledge about organ and tissue donation; experience with donation; attitudes toward the issue; willingness to discuss it; intentions to sig
Contact: Lois Baker
University at Buffalo