Author(s): Dardavessis T, Xenophontos P, Haidich AB, Kiritsi M, Vayionas MA
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: In Greece, there is limited research on issues related to organ donation. We aimed to study the attitudes, knowledge, and actions of local medical students regard to organ donation and transplantations of tissues and organs in Greece. METHODS: This cross-sectional questionnaire based survey was done in Laboratory of Hygiene and Social Medicine, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece on medical students in years 1 to 6. In a sample of 600 medical students, a special anonymous questionnaire, which included data as sex, age, and semester of studies, as well as questions regarding certain aspects of transplantation, was distributed. 558 valid questionnaires were completed (men 52.3\% and women 47.7\%). RESULTS: The vast majority of the sample (93.6\%) were in favor of transplantations whereas 32 (5.7\%) of the students claimed to be organ donors. 78.9\% claimed ignorance of the existing legislation concerning transplantations and organ donation in our country. 81.2\% believed that the voting of law, which would consider all Greek organ donors after death will cause strong reactions. As the main causes, responsible for the shortage of transplants in our country were stated to be the inadequate public information, Greek mentality, and the lack of organized transplant centers. Public information through Media, a lifelong free health check-up for organ donors and activation of voluntary organizations that promote organ donation were proposed as the most important actions that could increase organ donation and transplantations in Greece. CONCLUSIONS: The need for further informative actions stressing the importance of organ donations appears to be the only way to increase transplantations in our country and towards this direction medical students could also be activated. A new medical curriculum should increase medical students' awareness of the organ shortage problem. Public education is recommended to correct misconceptions.
This article was published in Int J Prev Med
and referenced in Transplant Reports : Open Access