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Difficult Communication: Compliance-Gaining Strategies of Organ Procurement Coordinators

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Organ procurement coordinators (OPCs) face a formidable communication task when making familial requests for consent to organ donation, because they must provide social support for grieving family members while seeking compliance to the donation request. Structured interviews were conducted with 102 OPCs, representing 16 organ procurement organizations (OPOs) (27.6% of national organizations) across the United States. Responses were transcribed and content-analyzed along four domain areas: (a) establishing credibility, (b) message strategies, (c) timing/setting of requests, and (d) adaptation of messages to diverse families. OPO conversion rates were used as a criterion factor for OPCs' persuasive communication success and regressed onto self-reported strategy use. Results indicate message strategies varied at the OPC level of analysis and 7 techniques significantly predicted 32% of the variance in conversion rates. Two strategies (i.e., gaining early intervention, approaching with additional support) positively influenced conversion rates, whereas 5 strategies (e.g., discussing benefits as a persuasive strategy, emphasizing the need for donation in particular racial/ethnic groups) negatively influenced conversion rates. Future research is recommended to validate the study findings toward the goal of improving OPCs' communication strategies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Communication, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, USA

Publication date: 2011-04-01

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