Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Personal contacts at work help people better understand organ donation

Date:
December 13, 2010
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
Face-to-face workplace interactions may be the best way to educate and encourage people to consider becoming organ donors, according to new research.

Face-to-face workplace interactions may be the best way to educate and encourage people to consider becoming organ donors, according to new research from Purdue University.

Related Articles


"Workplaces are a key location for people to learn about health and wellness issues, but how information is distributed in this setting can make a difference for sensitive health topics such as organ donation," said Susan E. Morgan, a professor of communication. "There is an incredible amount of misinformation and medical mistrust surrounding the organ donation process, which is often fueled by inaccurate story lines in entertainment media. Common misperceptions include that favoritism is shown for potential recipients and people who register to be donors will receive lower-quality care.

"We found that people who had a chance to discuss the topic and their misgivings with others were more likely to sign up compared to those who just read about organ donation in a brochure distributed at their workplace."

The findings are published in this issue of Communication Monographs.

Morgan and her research team coordinated campaigns for organ donation through the New Jersey Workplace Partnership for Life project at 45 businesses that ranged from 100-3,200 employees. The 10-week campaigns either consisted of a more traditional low-intensity approach, which is common in most work settings, a high-intensity approach or a control group.

In the low-intensity campaign, employees only received information from sources such as in internal newsletters, brochures or phone messages left on their voicemail systems. The high-intensity approach utilized low-intensity strategies along with on-site visits from organ procurement staff. A control group also was observed, and 9,477 employees completed pre-and/or post-campaign surveys related to their beliefs on organ donation.

"The interpersonal interactions also were valuable because the staff was able to address people's misgivings or any confusion about the process, and the on-site visits create a bit of a spectacle because they also set up a display that included an organ donor quilt and other items that helped spark conversation," Morgan said. "Deep down, many people feel that signing up to be an organ donor is a noble thing to do, but they have these fears and they feel silly sharing those. This setting provides a more comfortable place to ask questions. When a person sees a co-worker sign up to be an organ donor it often makes them feel better about approaching the topic. This is the principle of social proof in action."

Both campaigns led to an increase in people signing up as organ donors, but an average of 11 percent of the employees at the high-intensity sites who were not already registered organ donors completed and returned their registry forms. The low-intensity campaign led to a 3-percent increase. These are 13.6 percent and 6.8 percent increases, respectively, over the control group.

"The interpersonal component led to a change, that if applied universally, could amount to approximately 11 percent of the eligible workforce signing up to be an organ donor," Morgan said. "Increases of this size potentially equate to hundreds of lives saved through donation, which translates into millions of dollars saved in health-care costs for the chronically ill people who will receive transplants."

Many of the 108,000 people who need organs are often suffering from complications related to common chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. It is estimated that nearly 7,000 people die each year because an organ was not available. According to Donate Life America, 35 percent of Americans have signed up with an organ donor registry to ensure that after they die, their organs and tissue can help someone else.

Morgan and colleagues also will be evaluating worksite characteristics, such as location of breakrooms or spaces for posters, to determine the effectiveness of worksite health campaigns.

The article's co-authors are Tyler R. Harrison, associate professor of communication at Purdue; Lisa Chewning, an assistant professor of communication at Pennsylvania State University; Mark. J. DiCorcia, assistant chair of medical education at Indiana School of Medicine; and LaShara A. Davis, a doctoral candidate at Purdue.

The study was supported by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration's Division of Transplantation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "Personal contacts at work help people better understand organ donation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101213151439.htm>.
Purdue University. (2010, December 13). Personal contacts at work help people better understand organ donation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101213151439.htm
Purdue University. "Personal contacts at work help people better understand organ donation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101213151439.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins