|Year : 2018 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 25-29
Awareness, knowledge, and attitude regarding organ donation among final year students of medical, Dental, Engineering, and Arts and Science Colleges in Thiruvallur and Chennai City, India
Naina Sam1, R Ganesh1, V Indrapriyadarshini1, S Jeyamarthan1, CK Nandhini2
1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Priyadarshini Dental College and Hospital, Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Priyadarshini Dental College and Hospital, Pandur, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Web Publication||29-Mar-2018|
Dr. R Ganesh
No. 1, VGR Gardens, VGR Nagar, Pandur, Thiruvallur - 631 203, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Organ donation (OD) is the process of surgically removing an organ or tissue from one person (donor) and placing it into another person (recipient). Of the overall deaths occurring annually in India, nearly one lakh deaths occur due to organ failure. Shortage of donor organs can be resolved by raising awareness and educating the youth about various aspects of OD since they comprise of the majority of the population. The purpose of our study is to determine the level of awareness, knowledge and attitude regarding OD among pupils related to both medical and non-medical fields. Objective: To assess the awareness, knowledge, and attitude regarding OD among final year students of medical, dental, engineering, and arts and science students in Thiruvallur and Chennai. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 486 undergraduate students belonging to medical, dental, engineering, and arts and science from various colleges in Thiruvallur and Chennai. A 30 item self administered English questionnaire was given which assessed levels of awareness from Q1-Q7, knowledge from Q8- Q20 and attitude from Q21-Q30 among the study population regarding organ donation. Results: A total of 486 students participated in the study, out of which 183 (37.7%) were males and 303 (62.3%) were females. Among the study population, 455 (94%) were aware and 31 (6.4%) were not aware of the term OD. A total of 261 (54%) students were aware and 225 (46%) were not aware of the “organ transplantation act”. A total of 240 (49.4%) students had the knowledge about the risks involved in OD. A total of 329 (68%) students felt the need for laws to govern the process of OD. Knowledge about the human donor card was observed among 169 (35%) students among the study population. Three hundred and eight (63.4%) wanted to be a part of any OD group and also motivate others for OD. Conclusion: A well-organized approach is required to raise awareness among the youth about various aspects of OD which is necessary to eliminate the setbacks that affect the rate of availability of donor organs. Motivational messages and facts are some of the means of intervention to bring about changes regarding perceptions and intentions about OD among the students.
Keywords: Brain death, donor, organ donation, recipient, transplantation
|How to cite this article:|
Sam N, Ganesh R, Indrapriyadarshini V, Jeyamarthan S, Nandhini C K. Awareness, knowledge, and attitude regarding organ donation among final year students of medical, Dental, Engineering, and Arts and Science Colleges in Thiruvallur and Chennai City, India. Indian J Transplant 2018;12:25-9
|How to cite this URL:|
Sam N, Ganesh R, Indrapriyadarshini V, Jeyamarthan S, Nandhini C K. Awareness, knowledge, and attitude regarding organ donation among final year students of medical, Dental, Engineering, and Arts and Science Colleges in Thiruvallur and Chennai City, India. Indian J Transplant [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Mar 20];12:25-9. Available from: http://www.ijtonline.in/text.asp?2018/12/1/25/228928
| Introduction|| |
Organ donation (OD) has been one of the greatest milestones in modern science that has been a new ray of hope. Transplantation is defined as the transfer of human tissues or organs from a donor to a recipient  and legalized in India in 1994.
The number of individuals waiting for organ and tissue transplantation is increasing day by day. Organs such as “part of liver” and “kidney” can be donated by healthy controls. Wig et al. stated, there is a need for educating people regarding organ donation to the number of donor organs and awareness of donation.
| Materials and Methods|| |
A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among the final year students of medical, dental, engineering, and arts and science students in Thiruvallur and Chennai City to evaluate the awareness, knowledge, and attitude regarding OD. There are thirteen medical colleges and twelve dental colleges in Chennai city and fifteen engineering and twelve arts and science colleges in Thiruvallur, out of which the colleges for the survey were chosen randomly.
Ethical clearance was tatken from the Institutional Review Board of Priyadarshini Dental College and Hospital and was granted ethical clearance. Official permission was taken before conducting the survey from the dean/principals of all the four colleges: medical, dental, engineering, and arts and science colleges, respectively.
The estimated sample size for the study was 486 which was determined by “G” powered statistical software based on 80% power with an alpha error of 0.05.
A self-administered English questionnaire was used to perform this survey during October, 2017 was designed and standardized in the Department of Public Health Dentistry, Priyadarshini Dental College and Hospital. The questionnaire includes 30 questions which comprised of either yes or no inventories or multiple choice questions in addition to student's demographics [Table 1] and [Table 2].
The participants were informed of the purpose of the survey, and they were also informed that the participation in the study was voluntary. The questionnaire was distributed to the students during the lecture hours, and the participants were instructed not to discuss the questions among themselves. Sufficient time was given to them to fill the questionnaires. After answering, the answer sheets were collected for evaluation.
The collected data were entered into Microsoft excel sheets. The data were analyzed using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) software version 21 (IBM SPSS Statistics, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India) and the descriptive statistics such as number and percentage were calculated for the collected data.
| Results|| |
A total of 486 students participated in the study, out of which 183 (37.7%) were males and 303 (62.3%) were females. Among the study population, 455 (94%) were aware and 31 (6.4%) were not aware of the term OD. A total of 261 (54%) students were aware and 225 (46%) were not aware of the “organ transplantation act.” Two hundred and forty (49.4%) students had the knowledge about the risks involved in OD. Three hundred and twenty-nine (68%) students felt the need for laws to govern the process of OD. Knowledge about the human donor card was observed among 169 (35%) students among the study population. Three hundred and eight (63.4%) wanted to be a part of any OD group and also motivate others for OD.
| Discussion|| |
Shortage of OD is one of the major problems our medical field is facing currently. This is due to the lack of awareness and false perceptions about OD among the population. Appropriate measures to educate and create awareness among the major group of the population, i.e., young individuals are vital to improve the availability of the amount of donor organs to the recipients in line. Therefore, we as medical professionals should play a major role in spreading positive knowledge toward OD among the people.
Therefore, the present study was carried out to assess the awareness, knowledge, and attitude regarding OD among final year students of medical, dental, engineering, and arts and science colleges in Chennai city and Thiruvallur.
In the present study the willingness for organ donation, number who had pledged organs, source of information about donation, source of organs, beliefs about live and cadaver donors and choice of recipient by donor were analysed [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6].
|Figure 2: The number of participants who have pledged to donate an organ|
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|Figure 5: The number of students who thought organs from live person was better than cadaveric organs|
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In the present study, it was observed that 94% of the study population were aware of term OD whereas in a study conducted by Bharambe et al., it was observed that awareness regarding OD was 98.7% in the first year of MBBS and increasing to 100% by the third year which is similar to a study reported by Bapat et al. and Ali et al. conducted in medical colleges in South India and Karachi, Pakistan where the findings were 97% and 97.5%, respectively.
In the present study, it was found that 40.1% of the students reported media, 21.6% internet, 19.3% family, and 18.9% friends as the major source of their knowledge regarding OD whereas a study carried out by Bilgel et al. reported 72.1% and 22.7% media and medical education as the source of knowledge, respectively, and a study conducted by Bapat et al. stated that 61%, 60%, 31%, and 51% reported television, newspaper, radio, and magazines, respectively. Hence, it is observed that media has been the major source of information regarding OD among the students.
About 53.7% were aware of organ transplantation act and 67.7% felt the need for laws to govern the process of OD. About 56.6% were aware that the government legalizes brain death or coma as a form of death so that the organs of the donor can be donated. A study conducted by Wig et al. suggested only a small number of individuals were aware that the brain death is legal in India. A study conducted by Ramadurg and Gupta  showed that only 12.9% were aware about the laws legalizing brain death in India. This deficiency might be due to lack of knowledge about legal terminologies and information. Tontus et al. state that the most important factor for the shortage of donor organs is due to lack of information regarding the legal and procedure details among health-care professionals themselves.
About 70.4% of the study population in the present study were willing to be a donor, and their preferences of the recipient were 32.7% for family members, 23.7% for friends, and 43.6% for unknown individuals. The reasons for opting against OD were that 7.8% did not believe in OD, 13.6% was not willing to go through the disfigurement involved, 29.4% did not believe in the legal system, and 49.2% stated that their family would not approve. About 29.6% were not willing to consider OD.
About 56.4% responded that only major organs such as eye, heart, liver, and kidney could be donated; however, 17.5% thought that all the organs could be donated, 26.1% were not sure of the above. A study conducted by Ramadurg and Gupta  of 70 medical students found that only 27% of the study population knew of the organs that can be donated. In another study, Ali et al. found that according to students' opinion, kidney, cornea, blood, and platelet were the most commonly donated organs and tissues. A study carried out by Edwin and Raja reported awareness regarding eye donation was 88%, kidney 33% and 27% liver among the study group. This observation was similar to that reported by Annadurai et al. who studied the knowledge of nonmedical college students regarding the organs that can be donated and found that above 80% were aware of eye and kidney donations and below 15% had knowledge regarding other OD. Thus, there was high level of awareness regarding donation of eye, kidney, heart, and liver, and there was considerably low knowledge regarding the donation of other organs.
In this study, an attempt was made to demonstrate the lack of knowledge on OD among health science and nonhealth science students. Hence, the study emphasizes the need of a proper intervention which includes knowledge and positive messages to bring about the necessary changes in the perceptions and intentions of the students regarding OD.
The limitation of the present study was that the survey was distributed only to the students who were present within the colleges on the particular day which puts the reservation in a way of generalizing the findings.
| Conclusion|| |
A well-organized approach is required to raise awareness among the youth about various aspects of OD which is necessary to eliminate the setbacks that affect the rate of availability of donor organs. Motivational messages and facts are some of the means of intervention to bring about changes regarding perceptions and intentions about OD among the students. Other educational tools such as advertisements, campaigns, exhibitions, and lectures can improve the awareness and attitude about OD among the population. Since media is the major role in communication these days, they should take up the initiative of broadcasting the legislative laws that are involved in the process of OD.
We thank the administration and the staff of Department of Public Health Dentistry for supporting the conduction of the study.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6]
[Table 1], [Table 2]