Attitudes of intensive care nurses towards brain death and organ transplantation: instrument development and testing
Article first published online: 22 FEB 2006
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 53, Issue 5, pages 571–582, March 2006
How to Cite
Kim, J. R., Fisher, M. J. and Elliott, D. (2006), Attitudes of intensive care nurses towards brain death and organ transplantation: instrument development and testing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 53: 571–582. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2006.03759.x
- Issue published online: 22 FEB 2006
- Article first published online: 22 FEB 2006
- Accepted for publication 7 November 2005
- instrument development;
- intensive care unit nurses;
- organ donation;
Aims. This paper reports the development and testing of an instrument assessing attitudes of Korean intensive care unit nurses.
Background. Reluctance by healthcare professionals to identify brain-dead patients as a potential donor is one reason for a shortfall in transplantable organs in all countries. Organ donation from brain-dead patients is a particularly contentious issue in Korea, following recent legal recognition of brain death within the cultural context of Confucian beliefs.
Method. A 38-item instrument was developed from the literature and key informant interviews, and validated by an expert panel and a pilot study. A survey was conducted with Korean intensive care unit nurses (n = 520) from October 2003 to January 2004. Principal component analysis with varimax rotation was used to determine construct validity. Item-to-total correlations and Cronbach's coefficient alpha were used to determine the scale's internal consistency and unidimensionality.
Results. The scale demonstrated high internal consistency (alpha = 0·88). Principal component analysis yielded a four-component structure: Discomfort, Enhancing quality of life, Willingness to be a donor and Rewarding experience. Overall, Korean intensive care unit nurses showed positive attitudes towards organ transplantation, despite some mixed feelings.
Conclusion. The attitude scale was reliable and valid for this cohort. Areas were identified where professional development may enhance positive attitudes towards organ transplantation from brain-dead donors. Effective education for intensive care unit nurses is necessary to increase the organ donor pool in Korea. Further research could test the instrument with other populations.