A Clustered Randomized Trial Informing Patients on Dialysis About Their Ability to Donate Organs and Tissues
Andrews AM, Zhang N, Smith AH, Loughery C, Resnicow K, Chapman R, Jenkins Riley H, Stav S, and Yee J. A Clustered Randomized Trial Informing Patients on Dialysis About Their Ability to Donate Organs and Tissues. Prog Transplant 2020.
Progress in transplantation
INTRODUCTION: The transplant waiting list exceeds the number of organs available. One means of increasing the organ pool is to broaden potential donors to include those with chronic diseases.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: The study tested the effectiveness of using peer mentors to encourage individuals on dialysis to enroll on an organ donor registry.
DESIGN: Dialysis units were pair-matched by size and racial composition and then randomized to one of 2 interventions: meetings with a peer mentor (experimental intervention) or organ donation mailings (control). Peer mentors were trained to discuss organ donation with individuals on dialysis during in-person meetings at dialysis units. The primary outcome was verified registration in the state's donor registry.
RESULTS: After adjusting for age, gender, race, income, and education and accounting for correlation within the dialysis center, there was a significant intervention effect. Among individuals in the intervention group, the odds of enrolling (verified) on the donor registry were 2.52 times higher than those in the control group.
DISCUSSION: The use of peer mentors to discuss donating organs after death with individuals on dialysis can increase enrollment on a donor registry. Dispelling myths about chronic illness and donation can counter widely held misconceptions and help persons make an informed choice about end-of-life decisions and present an opportunity to increase the number of organs and tissues available for transplant.
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