• communication;
  • end of life;
  • organ donation

ABSTRACT Objective: The study tested an intervention exposing people who planned to donate organs to written information about communicating with family their intention to donate organs.

Design: A pretest posttest double-blind experiment compared participants given written information about communicating with family and basic organ donation information, with participants given written information about only basic organ donation information.

Sample: Participants included 109 adults who had not yet communicated their plans with family.

Measures: Participants first responded to previous experience with organ donation, thoughts about organ donation, willingness to communicate with family about organ donation, and knowledge about organ donation. After reading the respective pamphlet, participants again responded to thoughts about communicating with their family and willingness to communicate with family.

Results: Both groups responded with the same high willingness to communicate before the intervention and a small but significant increase in willingness to communicate afterwards.

Conclusions: Participants expressed a high degree of willingness to communicate about their organ donation intentions even though they had thus far not communicated their intentions. Factors in addition to willingness to communicate need to be identified in order to encourage better communication about organ donation intentions.