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Organ Donation and Hispanic American High School Students: Attitudes, Beliefs, Perceptions, and Intent to Donate

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The growing need for transplantable organs continues to outpace supply. This discrepancy is most pronounced in minority populations. Hispanic Americans, however, are significantly less likely to donate their organs for reasons that remain poorly understood. We sought to identify factors that influence Hispanic American high school students’ intent to donate organs. A prospective observational study was conducted in five Los Angeles high schools within four separate zip codes known for a high percentage of Hispanic Americans. High school students, ages 15 to 20 years, were surveyed to assess demographic factors, cultural factors, awareness and knowledge, perception, and belief regarding organ donation and the intent to donate. A total of 5444 surveys were collected over a 4-month period. After logistic regression analysis, independent risk factors for predicting the intent to donate were: family support, 11th and 12th grade high school students, being female, religion, and the belief that Hispanics are more likely to need an organ transplant. This study represents the largest study to date examining factors associated with the intent to donate in Hispanic American high school students. To address the organ shortage crisis in Hispanic Americans, these risk factors should be considered using specific, effective educational programs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma and Critical Care, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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