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Alwably and Algadaa: Knowledge and attitude towards organ transplantation among medical students in the medical college of Al Qassim University

Introduction: Organ donation is a big dilemma, especially when it comes to religious beliefs. Health care providers’ attitudes and beliefs can influence public willingness to donate organs for transplantation. This study was designed to address the lack of information regarding medical student’s knowledge of and attitudes towards organ donation.

Objectives: To investigate knowledge, attitudes and religious beliefs towards organ donation between medical students in Qassim University, Saudi Arabia; investigating how many students had signed organ donation cards, their willingness to sign organ donation card and their knowledge about the Saudi Centre for Organ Transplantation (SCOT).

Materials and methods: 355 questionnaires were distributed among female and male medical students in Qassim University. A self-administered questionnaire containing 24 questions was used and data were analysed by Statistical Product and Service Solutions (SPSS; IBM Corporation, Armonk, NY, USA).

Results: 3.4% had signed organ donation cards, 42.5% were willing to sign organ donation cards and 46.6% agree to donate family members’ organs after death. From a religious perspective, 48.3% think it is halal, 29.9% think they have enough knowledge about organ donation, 23.2% think the use of brain-death criteria is enough for organ donation and 24.6% knew about SCOT.

Conclusions: There is lack of knowledge about organ donation among Qassim medical students. Because of their influence on society, awareness needs to be raised among medical students by use of campaigns and educational activities. Similar studies are needed in different universities in the Gulf region to identify the lack of knowledge and to raise awareness.

Acknowledgements: Professor Ayman Algadaa for his unlimited support and supervising this project and my colleagues Laylaalzamel, Ahmed Alazmi, who helped me to collect samples.

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