Social Behavioral Interventions to Increase Solid Organ and Tissue Donation

Project: Research project

Project Details


Despite consistently positive attitudes toward organ donation, increasing the number of registered organ donors in the US continues to challenge the professional and research communities. Improving rates of donor designation among ethnic minorities is of particular importance given the need to match donated organs to recipients on blood type and human leukocyte antigens – the best matches are found when the donor and recipient are of the same ethnic background. In Hispanic communities, lay educators (i.e., Promotoras) are trained to promote behaviors that empower and enable constituents to prevent disease, and increase control over and improve their health. In partnership with leadership of four Promotoras organizations in geographically diverse areas of the U.S. (PA, IL, TX, VA) representing the largest subgroups of the Hispanic population, this pilot study proposes to leverage the preexisting network of lay educators to advocate for organ donation and promote donor designation (first person consent) among female Hispanics over the age of 50. Specifically, this three-phase study will collect the formative data needed to design a curriculum, and develop and test an educational and behavioral communication training program for Promotoras. In Phase I, focus group interviews held with Hispanic women and Promotoras (8 group interviews with each population) will identify the information needs and concerns about organ donation registration of these two groups; interviews with lay educators will also gauge interactivity preferences as well as content and design issues for the resulting web-based training (Aim 1). These data will be used to develop an elearning module to educate Promotoras about organ donation in Phase II and train them to hold small group sessions with Hispanic women in their communities (Aim 2). A brief quantitative survey will assess the impact of the module on knowledge of organ donation and confidence (communication self-efficacy) discussing donation and promoting donor designation. In Phase III, we will assess Promotoras’ efficacy promoting organ donation by assessing the number of Hispanic women age 50 and over who register as posthumous organ donors as a proportion of all women attending small group sessions led by trained Promotoras. Not only does the proposed research capitalize on an existing and respected health information infrastructure in the Hispanic community, but it also utilizes interpersonal channels, a preferred means of obtaining information in this population, to promote organ donation behaviors. More importantly, if effective the elearning module could be disseminated easily to Promotoras organizations across the country to increase rates of donor designation among Hispanic communities in the U.S. and reduce disparities in access to transplantation.
Effective start/end date9/1/168/31/19


  • Temple University (258461-00-01//5R39OT29878-03-00)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (258461-00-01//5R39OT29878-03-00)


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