Right here, right now: the impact of the blood donation context on anxiety, attitudes, subjective norms, self-efficacy, and intention to donate blood


  • This research was conducted in accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council's National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research as cleared by the ethics board of The University of Queensland.

Barbara Masser, School of Psychology, McElwain Building, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia; e-mail: b.masser@psy.uq.edu.au.


BACKGROUND: While research has established the role of anticipated emotions in augmented Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) models of donor behavior, research has yet to consider the impact of immediate emotions that may be triggered by the blood donor context on respondents' intentions to donate blood. This study explored the impact of blood donor paraphernalia on respondents' positivity toward blood donation and on the interrelationships typically observed in TPB blood donation studies.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Seventy-six participants were randomly allocated to complete TPB questionnaires assessing attitudes, subjective norm, and self-efficacy along with intention to donate blood in either an affectively “hot” (blood donation paraphernalia) or a cold (control) condition. Anxiety about donating blood was also assessed.

RESULTS: Respondents in the affectively hot condition reported significantly greater anxiety about donating blood along with less positive attitudes, weaker subjective norms, lower self-efficacy, and lower intention to donate than respondents in the cold control condition. In support of extant TPB research, correlational analyses indicated that the relationships between attitudes, self-efficacy, and intention were not impacted upon by condition.

CONCLUSION: Blood donation paraphernalia induces anxiety in donors and results in diminished positivity toward donating. An awareness of what donors experience as a function of the context of blood donation may allow blood services to effectively intervene to bolster donors' positivity toward blood donation at the point where donation can take place.