Ethics. Research. Community.

Hospital attitude survey on organ donation in the Emilia-Romagna region, Italy.

Transplant international : official journal of the European Society for Organ Transplantation. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
The role of hospital staff in the organ procurement process is crucial. Nevertheless, there is little literature about their attitudes toward donation. The Donor Action Hospital Attitude Survey (HAS) comprises a series of questions to assess hospital staff's attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge on organ donation and transplantation. Further analysis of the data will help identify any weak areas in the staff viewpoint and information, highlight potential needs for more education on specific issues, and establish a baseline to monitor future improvements. We used the Donor Action HAS in the Emilia-Romagna region, Italy. The aim of this paper is to assess and better understand the personnel's viewpoint in the 12 main hospitals of the region. The survey was carried out among hospital staff involved in organ donation. 1576 responses were collected (52 % of distributed questionnaires), of which 1024 came from nurses, 475 from physicians, and 77 from other backgrounds. Questions were subdivided into categories, and for every point an overall mark (maximum 3/3) was calculated. RESULTS: 1. Involvement in donation process during the past year: 1.24 /3, 2. Attitudes to organ donation (OD): 2.51 /3, 3. Skills / Self-confidence in donation practices: 1.36 /3, 4. Satisfaction with local transplant coordinator (TC) services: 2.31 /3. The attitude towards organ donation was positive, 1386 respondents support organ donation. A high percentage (93.6 % of respondents) is of the opinion that transplantation helps save other people's lives. Most uncertainty arises on the question whether donation helps families with grief. It is remarkable that only 53 % of those prepared to donate organs have informed the family of their wish. Many respondents do not feel comfortable performing key tasks close to donation. Major difficulties were observed in explaining to a family the concept of brain death (0.98 /3). Knowledge on the concept of brain-death was one of the most requested subjects for improvement. Emilia-Romagna is the region with one of the highest donation rates in Italy (29.9 pmp in 2000). Nevertheless, more profound knowledge of the local situation could help further improve donation.
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