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Presenter: Minsun, Kang, Seoul, Korea
Authors: Minsun Kang, Sanghyoung Yoon, Gahee Kim, Eunyoung Heo, Sunny Kim, Jongwon Ha
Providing support to donor families: evaluation and challenges
Minsun Kang1, Sanghyoung Yoon2, Gahee Kim2, Eunyoung Heo2, Sunny Kim3, Jongwon Ha5,4
1Management Support Team, Korea Organ Donation Agency, Seoul, Korea, 2Family Care, Korea Organ Donation Agency, Seoul, Korea, 3Chief Operating Officer, Korea Organ Donation Agency, Seoul, Korea, 4President, Korea Organ Donation Agency, Seoul, Korea, 5Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Background and Objective: Various bereavement support programs have been provided through Korea Organ Donation Agency (KODA) to assist families of a brain-dead organ donor. This study aimed to understand the decision-making process of donor family members, and evaluate their experience of the organ donation process.
Methods: Face-to-face interviews were performed using ten structured questions and four unstructured questions with nineteen family members who completed the organ donation process. Information about family members’ depression was evaluated using the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale.
Results: Thirteen participants (68%) were aware of the possibility of organ donation and ten families (53%) decided by themselves to donate their deceased relatives’ organs even before they were approached to consider it. The process of reasoning behind agreeing to organ donation of the deceased by participants was ‘meaningful death for their relatives’ mostly, and some of them agreed to donate organs because of either fulfilling the wishes of the deceased or receiving government compensation of funeral costs and the donor’s medical costs. During the organ donation process, ten participants (53%) had felt difficult to understand entire donation process. Overall the study results indicated that participants were satisfied with the service provided to them by KODA and twelve participants (63%) were willing to donate their own organs after death. Twelve participants (70%) scored 25 and higher and only five (30%) scored 15 or lower on the CES-D scale, which means that many left experience depression.Conclusion: Most family members felt that they were given enough information to make an informed decision about donation and the study results indicated a positive attitude towards the organ donation process among family members. However, majority of participants were struggling with severe or mild depression after donation and these findings suggests that developing grieving or counseling programs would be essential throughout and after the donation process.
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