Ethnic differences in donation-related characteristics among potential hematopoietic stem cell donors

Galen E. Switzer*, Mary Amanda Dew, Donna J. Harrington, Megan Crowley-Matoka, Larissa Myaskovsky, Linda Abress, Dennis L. Confer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background. Although the National Marrow Donor Program has been highly successful at recruiting ethnic minorities as potential hematopoietic stem cell donors, there have been no systematic investigations of whether donor characteristics that might be linked to the donation experience vary by ethnicity. Methods. Questionnaires assessing four domains-demographic, volunteer-related, general psychosocial, and donation-related-were mailed to potential donors after they were contacted as a preliminary match for a patient and had agreed to donate. In all, 1,679 potential donors completed and returned a predonation questionnaire. Data from potential donors belonging to five major ethnic groups were analyzed; white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and Native American. Results. Bivariate analyses indicated that virtually all factors in the four domains were associated with ethnicity. Direct discriminant function analysis identified three significant functions. The most striking of the three functions indicated that Asian Americans were more highly educated, more ambivalent (reluctant about donation), more concerned (medical, work/family), and more anxious and depressed than all other ethnic groups. Key differences among other ethnic group members were also identified. Conclusions. This study provides the first evidence of ethnic group differences in key predonation variables. Findings suggest that Asian/Pacific Islanders possess a number of characteristics that are known psychosocial risk factors for less positive postdonation outcomes and that more intensive pre and postdonation contact with this group may be necessary. Strategies for improving future research in this area are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)890-896
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 15 2005


  • Ethnicity
  • Hematopoietic stem cell donation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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