Outcomes from a Test of Tribes Sharing Life

Thursday, 15 July 2010: 8:50 AM

Nancy L. Fahrenwald, PhD, RN
College of Nursing, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD

Learning Objective 1: Describe the methods employed to test an intervention to increase intent to serve as an organ donor for American Indian tribal college students.

Learning Objective 2: Relate the outcomes of a quasi-expermental test of the Tribes Sharing Life intervention.


Among American Indians (AIs) there is a dire need for renal transplantation largely due to type 2 diabetes. Consent rates for deceased donation among AIs are low. The study purpose was to test a multi-state, culturally-targeted intervention to increase intent to serve as an organ/tissue donor among AI tribal college students.


The study was derived from the Transtheoretical Model and based on the cultural traditions of story-telling and gift giving. A community-based participatory research approach and a 2-group quasi-experimental design were used. Six tribal colleges were matched by size then randomly assigned to two groups. The experimental program was classroom-based education (print, video and web-based materials). The control intervention was posted print materials promoting the web-site. AI adults attending tribal colleges (N=399) were included. Outcomes were (a) stage of motivational readiness to serve as an organ donor, and (b) self-report of enrollment in a state registry.


The classroom approach enrolled significantly more students than print materials only (p<.001). Of all who enrolled, there were no significant group differences in changes in either stage of motivational readiness to register as a donor or in registry enrollment by group (p>.05); 61% of all participants progressed in stage of readiness and 20% enrolled in a state registry. McNemar's test of significance for dependent samples was used to compare pre-and post-intervention stage of motivational readiness for all participants who were categorized as stage non-progressed (no change in stage of readiness, 39%), or stage progressed (progressed one or more stages of readiness, 61%). No participants regressed in stage. Progression in stage of readiness from pre- to post-intervention was significant, χ2 (1) = 17.79, p <.05.


Both interventions resulted in important changes in intention to serve as an organ/tissue donor for AI college students. Greater numbers were enrolled from the classroom approach.