Awareness and attitudes toward corneal donation among Canadians: Informative and motivational videos can increase willingness toward corneal donation
Authors: Ali Salimi, Harrison Watt, Hassan Elhawary, Mahshad Darvish-Zargar, Mona Harissi-Dagher.
Disclosure Block: A. Salimi: None. H. Watt: None. H. Elhawary: None. M. Darvish-Zargar: None. M. Harissi-Dagher: None.
Abstract Title: Awareness and attitudes toward corneal donation among Canadians: informative and motivational videos can increase willingness toward corneal donation
Purpose: Globally, there is only one donor cornea available for every 70 needed. The largest obstacle to meeting the demand for corneal transplants is a shortage of donor corneas. The public’s knowledge and willingness toward corneal donation have been previously studied in different populations; however, there is a gap in research with regards to Canada. Thus, the current study examined the Canadian public’s perception and knowledge on corneal donation, along with the effect of a short informative and motivational video on the willingness to donate corneas.
Study Design: Cross-sectional interventional study.
Methods: An anonymous cloud-based survey was developed to assess the public's knowledge and attitude toward corneal donation, and the efficacy of a one-minute-long informative and motivational video on increasing willingness toward corneal donation. The questions were adapted from previous studies on Asian populations. The survey targeted Canadian adults and was disseminated through a variety of online channels including social media platforms, survey websites, online forums, and listservs.
Results: The survey was accessed by 1361 individuals, among whom 1013 completed the questionnaire - representing a completion rate of 74%. The sample consisted of 36% males and 64% females, with an average age of 37.0±15.3 years [range:18-86]. The majority of the cohort (58%) perceived to lack basic knowledge about corneal donation and about a third (32%) had never heard the term “corneal donation”. Objective knowledge of corneal donation was relatively low with an average score of 7.8±4.5 (out of 20). In our sample, 44% had not opted-in for organ donation. However, 59% of these individuals reported willingness to donate their corneas after death. Lack of awareness about the benefits of corneal donation was the most commonly cited reason for unwillingness to donate corneas (33%). Willingness to donate one’s own cornea increased from 59% pre-video to 79% post-video (relative increase of 34%; p<0.001).
Conclusions: This robustly sized study represented Canadians across the country from a wide variety of age groups, professions, and educational levels. The results demonstrated a general lack of awareness of corneal donation among the Canadian population and highlighted the efficacy of a short informative and motivational video in increasing willingness to donate corneal tissue. With lack of awareness about the benefits of corneal donation being among the primary reasons for the unwillingness to donate corneas, simple but efficacious interventions like the promotion of short, informative and motivational videos can increase tissue donors and help reduce the corneal tissue shortage.