A Peer Outreach Initiative to Increase the Registration of Minorities as Organ Donors

Buffin, Jez, Little, Robert Matthew, Jain, Neerja and Warrens, Anthony N. (2015) A Peer Outreach Initiative to Increase the Registration of Minorities as Organ Donors. Clinical Kidney Journal .

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ckj/sfv066


Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities are disproportionately affected by inequalities in transplant services in the UK. There are some indications from pilot programmes that appeals for BAME organ donors may be more effectively communicated by employing grassroots, community-networking approaches, but such initiatives have not been adequately described or evaluated.

Lay individuals from BAME communities were trained as peer outreach workers. They attended a series of public events to promote knowledge of organ donation and transplantation among the public. Information was gathered from 806 evaluation forms completed by event attendees at 34 separate events. From these, 54 follow-up interviews were conducted with event attendees who completed evaluation forms, indicated that they intended to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR) within the next month and consented to follow-up.

Peer outreach initiatives of the type evaluated are associated with increased numbers of BAME people registering as organ donors. A total of 8.8% of event attendees signed up to the NHS ODR. The programme was most effective with people who had previously considered becoming organ donors but who did not know how to go about it. It was less effective with people who had not previously considered it, or who were scared about signing up, or who feared family or religious disapproval.

Peer outreach programmes with BAME communities can be an effective way of reducing inequalities by increasing the number of people on the NHS ODR and encouraging people to think about the issue.

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