Motivation, recruitment and retention of voluntary non-remunerated blood donors: a survey-based questionnaire study


: Aksel H. Misje, Blood Bank of Oslo, Department of Immunology, and Transfusion Medicine, Ullevål University Hospital, Kirkeveien 166, N-0407 Oslo, Norway E-mail:


Background and Objectives  The aim of this study was to establish which motivational and socio-demographic factors are important for the development of a long-term commitment as a voluntary, non-remunerated blood donor.

Study Design and Methods  A cross-sectional sample survey of active blood donors in Oslo, Norway, was conducted. Donors filled in a self-administered questionnaire during donation. Data on motivation were analysed using factor analysis.

Results  The blood donors’ socio-demographic characteristics were found to be similar to those of the population as a whole. The single, most important, recruitment channel was the influence of active blood donors. Five dimensions of blood-donor motivation were identified with factor analysis. These were: altruism and empathy; social reasons (such as the influence of friends and family); strengthening of one's self-esteem; positive experiences associated with donation; and a moral obligation to donate. Support for statements on altruistic motives for donation was strong and similar in long-time and short-time donors. In contrast, short-time donors were more likely to be motivated by factors related to self-esteem than were long-term donors.

Conclusion  The ‘good habit’ of continued blood donation seems not to be exclusively linked to a high degree of reported other-regarding (‘altruistic’) reasons, but also to a combination of motives, including some modestly self-regarding motives.