Undergraduate nursing students' knowledge and attitudes towards organ donation in Korea: Implications for education

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Journal Article
Nurse Education Today, 2006, 26 (6), pp. 465 - 474
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Organ donation from brain dead patients is a contentious issue in Korea within the cultural context of Confucian beliefs. Each year thousands of patients wait for organ donation note poor donation rates and importance of nurses in identifying potential donors. It is therefore important to identify knowledge levels and attitudes towards organ donation from brain dead patients of nursing students as future health workers. Using a 38-item instrument previously developed by the researchers, 292 undergraduate students in a Korean nursing college were surveyed in 2003 in Korea (response rate 92%). Validity and reliability of the instrument was demonstrated using a multiple analytical approach. A lack of knowledge regarding diagnostic tests and co-morbid factors of brain death were noted among students. Their attitudes toward organ donation were somewhat mixed and ambiguous, but overall they were positive and willing to be a potential donor in the future. While this study identified that an effective educational program is necessary for nursing students in Korea to improve their knowledge of brain death and organ donation, further research is also required to verify these single-site findings and improve the generalisability of results. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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