Journal List > J Korean Soc Transplant > v.28(4) > 1034437

Lee, Won, and Jae: Attitude Favorability towards Organ Donation in Family Members of Brain Dead Organ Donors



Analyzing the attitudes toward organ donation and the factors that influence such attitudes is fundamental to improving the quality of management for the process of brain dead organ donation.


We interviewed 23 primary carers of donors after a minimum period of one year post organ donation from a single hospital, from 2008 to 2011. This telephone survey analyzed factors including relationship with the donor and the impact of such factors on making the decision for donation and attitude towards organ donation.


With respect to the carers’ relationship with the donor, seven carers who participated in the interview were spouses (30.4%), six were parents (26.0%), three were offspring (13.0%), and seven were siblings (30.4%). Ten of the decision makers (43.4%) were not legal priority holders. Twenty-two interviewees (95.6%) experienced no regret for their decision to go through with the donation. Fifteen participants (65.1%) were willing to donate their own organs in case of brain death, and the favorability towards organ donation was significantly related to the satisfaction with their experience of medical services during the process of organ donation.


Organ donation after brain death is still viewed favorably by carers even after the bereavement period. Positive attitude and favorability toward organ donation were significantly related to the satisfaction with the medical service. We suggest interventions to improve the quality of medical services in order to promote organ donation.


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Fig. 1.
Relationship between satisfaction with medical services and favorability towards organ donation among interviewees. The horizontal axis represents satisfaction levels. There was no score lower than 5 out of 10. The vertical axis represents the percentage of attitude favorability in the particular group.
Table 1.
Demographic characteristics of the interviewees and the donors (n=23)
Characteristic No. (%)
Male 15 (65.2)
Female 8 (34.7)
Age (yr)  
0∼19 0 (0.0)
20∼39 5 (21.7)
40∼59 12 (52.1)
≥60 6 (26.0)
Relationship with the donor  
Spouse 7 (30.4)
Parent 6 (26.0)
Offspring 3 (13.0)
Sibling 7 (30.4)
Male 15 (65.2)
Female 8 (34.7)
Age (yr)  
0∼19 2 (8.6)
20∼39 5 (21.7)
40∼59 12 (52.1)
≥60 4 (17.3)
Cause of brain death  
Head trauma 5 (21.7)
Stroke/cerebrovascular disease 14 (60.8)
Anoxia 3 (13.0)
Others 1 (4.3)
Table 2.
Distribution of the family group in relation to factors such as main carer, legal priority holder, main decision maker, and average age of the main carer
Variable Primary carer Legal priority holder Main decision maker Average age in primary carer group a
Spouse 7 10 5 54.0
Parent 6 11 7 33.3
Offspring 3 0 4 56.5
Sibling 7 2 7 43.9

a Difference between groups P=0.028.

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