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Authors D'Alessandro AM, Peltier JW, Dahl AJ
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Journal Prog Transplant Volume: 22 Issue: 2 Pages: 183-91
Publish Date 2012 Jun
PubMed ID 22878076
Abstract

A 2-year study funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration was conducted to identify a conceptual model of how college students, particularly those in student organizations, can be the social media catalyst for viral communications designed to motivate others to learn about the need of organ donation and become organ donors. This study reports the qualitative findings. DESIGN AND DATA COLLECTION: Methods used included an advisory committee, key informant interviews, and focus groups. A total of 317 individuals participated, including 246 students, 19 student organization advisors, 27 organ transplant experts, 20 university health care professionals, and 5 social media experts. ANALYTICAL METHODS: SPSS Text Smart content analysis software was used to code respondents’ verbal comments into various categories. The analysis results in groupings of words that represent the main discussion topics.College students understand the need for organ donation and they want to make a difference. The donation community needs to overcome several barriers to motivate college students to become organ donors and donor advocates, including (1) lack of a personal connection with donation, (2) lack of (factual) knowledge about organ donation and how to sign up, (3) common myths and misconceptions, and (4) students have a short-term perspective on life.Our findings suggest that the donation community can motivate college students to register as organ donors and become advocates through outreach efforts that use social media, student organizations, and other college-based media.

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