Alwaleed Al Johar
King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
Alwaleed Al Johar is a medical intern who graduated from Kind Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He is enthusiastic about research and is currently involved in several projects focusing on General Internal Medicine. He believes that academia and medical research are the cornerstone of good medical practice and better patient care. In addition to being a physician, he would like to continue his career in an academic institute because of his beliefs about the importance of scientific research.
Background: Voluntary donors are the only source of blood donation in Saudi Arabia. Despite frequent blood donation campaigns and encouragement by the media, lack of blood resources remains significant and problematic in advanced healthcare centers.
Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the level of public knowledge and attitude toward blood donation. In addition, to describe the donating and non-donating populations with identification of motivating and restraining factors in each.
Methods: Using a previously validated questionnaire that comprises 38 questions to assess the level of knowledge, attitude and practices towards blood donation, 469 Saudi adults who attended different shopping malls in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia were interviewed. Based on calculated scores, level of knowledge and attitude of our study cohort were categorized into different groups. Multiple regression analyses were used to identify significant predictors of blood donation.
Results: Approximately, half of all subjects (53.3%) reported previous history of donation, 39% of whom had multiple donations, with predominance of males (66% vs. 13.3%; P<0.001). Knowledge percentage mean score was 58.0%, denoting poor level of knowledge. Attitude percentage mean score towards donation was 75.4%, reflecting neutral attitude. After adjustment of confounders, multiple linear regression showed that higher knowledge score, higher attitude score, and male gender were significant predictors of blood donation (P=0.01, P=0.001, P<0.001, respectively). Correlation between knowledge and attitude mean scores showed significant association between the variants (P<0.001). Notable reasons that refrained females from donation were inability to reach the blood donation centers and fear of anemia (49.9% and 35.7%, respectively), whereas lack of time was the only significant reason amongst males (59.5%).
Conclusion: Overall, level of knowledge about blood donation was poor, and attitude towards blood donation was generally neutral. Higher level of knowledge was associated with more positive attitude for blood donation. After adjustment, significant predictors of blood donation were higher knowledge and attitude scores, and male gender.