Background: Adolescents of Hispanic descent are an important and under-represented target populations for organ and tissue donation. The intent of this study is to measure the effect of a culturally sensitive educational curriculum on awareness and intent to donate among a predominantly Hispanic cohort of adolescents.
Methods: A quasi-experimental pre-post design was conducted among students from 3 high schools with predominantly Hispanic populations. Subjects completed pre-intervention surveys prior to a 40-minute educational intervention. Post-intervention surveys were administered 10-14 days later. Changes to survey responses on knowledge and intent from pre to post intervention were compared using paired t-tests.
Results: A total of 301 students participated, 67% of which were Hispanic. Twenty-six percent of subjects expressed intent to donate pre-intervention; this increased by 18 percentage points (95 CI: 12%-25%) to 44% post-intervention (p<0.0001). At baseline, intent to donate was 26% and 22% among Hispanics and non-Hispanics. Post-intervention, 51% of Hispanics expressed intent to donate (p=0.001) and 28% non-Hispanic (0.13). Pre-intervention, females were more likely to discuss organ donation with family compared to males (33% vs 16%, p=0.001); post intervention, the prevalence increased in both groups (to 46% and 41%, in females and males, respectively).
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that a culturally appropriate, single classroom intervention can correct misinformation and promote communication about tissue/organ donation among high school students. The intervention appeared particularly effective among Hispanics, a group traditionally underrepresented among tissue and organ donors. These results proved to be effective regarding expressed intent, a large-scale cluster randomized implementation in all 13 high schools located in a large metropolitan bay area school district, is planned in 2015.
Organ/Tissue donation, adolescents, culturally sensitive, education, knowledge and intent
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