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Educating Secondary School Students about Organ and Tissue Donation Legislation: A Pilot Study

Truong Thi Thu Ha, Voo Ke Rui and Tan Chee Kiat

Introduction: This pilot study assessed the effect of structured classroom education on the knowledge of and attitudes toward organ and tissue donation among students in a Singapore secondary school.

Methods: A total of 79 secondary school students were randomly assigned to a control group or an intervention group. The intervention group was given a 30-minute lesson with an accompanying brochure about the benefits of organ and tissue donation and the governing legislations. Baseline and post-intervention survey were administered to both groups of participants to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. McNemar’s test and Pearson’s chi-square test were used to measure the difference of knowledge and willingness to donate levels before and after intervention.

Results: The education intervention increased the knowledge of the students about both legislation Acts. In the intervention group, more than 50% students answered correctly all criteria of the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA) and the Medical (Therapy, Education and Research) Act (MTERA) eligibility after the lesson (p<0.001.) However, it did not lead to a significant increase in the percentage of students who reported to be willing to donate under HOTA or pledge in MTERA.

Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrated that a single classroom exposure had the potential to increase knowledge levels of organ and tissue donation among secondary school students. However, increase in knowledge was not accompanied by a change in willingness to donate among study participants.