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30 September 2018 : Clinical Research

Changing Attitudes of Medical Students Regarding Organ Donation from a University Medical School in Turkey

Meltem Akkas1ACDEF*, Esin Gulkaya Anık2ABE, Mehmet Cihat Demir1BF, Bugra İlhan1BC, Canan Akman1EF, Mehmet Mahir Ozmen3DEF, Nalan Metin Aksu1CDE

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.912251

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR6918-6924

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Doctors have an important role in increasing the number of organ donors. This study aimed to investigate the changing attitudes of medical students regarding organ donation, from first-year medical students (FYMS) to sixth-year medical students (SYMS) at a university medical school in Turkey.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: One hundred first-year medical students and 100 sixth-year medical students participated in the study. A four-part questionnaire was designed for the study, with a response rate of 66.8%.

RESULTS: Completed study questionnaires showed that organ donation was considered by 46% of first-year medical students and 60% of sixth-year medical students, but an organ donor card was signed by only 8% and 10%, respectively. Information about organ donation had been sought, mainly from social media, by 72% of first-year medical students, and 55% of sixth-year medical students. Regarding their views on organ donation of their relatives, 78% of first-year medical students and 86% of sixth-year medical students were influenced by the opinions of their families and community. When asked about brain death, 50% of first-year medical students and 12% of sixth-year medical students believed it to be a potentially reversible condition, or were uncertain of the definition.

CONCLUSIONS: During six years of training in a university medical school in Turkey, there was only a slight increase in the number of students who were willing to become organ donors and there was a lack of formal education regarding organ donation. Therefore, urgent improvements are required in the education of doctors and society regarding organ donation.

Keywords: Directed Tissue Donation, Education, Medical, Undergraduate, Students, Medical

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750