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The influence of adverse reactions, subjective distress, and anxiety on retention of first-time blood donors

Authors

  • Anne van Dongen,

    Corresponding author
    1. From the Unit Donor Studies, Sanquin Research, Nijmegen, the Netherlands; the Department of Work & Social Psychology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands; and the Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Exeter, Devon, UK.
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  • Charles Abraham,

    1. From the Unit Donor Studies, Sanquin Research, Nijmegen, the Netherlands; the Department of Work & Social Psychology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands; and the Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Exeter, Devon, UK.
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  • Robert A.C. Ruiter,

    1. From the Unit Donor Studies, Sanquin Research, Nijmegen, the Netherlands; the Department of Work & Social Psychology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands; and the Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Exeter, Devon, UK.
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  • Ingrid J.T. Veldhuizen

    1. From the Unit Donor Studies, Sanquin Research, Nijmegen, the Netherlands; the Department of Work & Social Psychology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands; and the Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Exeter, Devon, UK.
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Anne van Dongen, Unit Donor Studies, Sanquin Research, PO Box 1013, 6501 BA Nijmegen, the Netherlands; e-mail: a.dongen@sanquin.nl.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This study investigated the effects of adverse events (i.e., needle reactions, fatigue, and vasovagal reactions) and feelings of distress and anxiety on retention of first-time blood donors. All effects were explored separately for men and women.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: First-time blood donors (n = 2438) received a questionnaire, asking them about their experience of adverse events, subjective distress, and anxiety at their first donation. Provision of a second donation was checked approximately 18 months later. After exclusion of nonresponders and donors who did not experience an adverse event, 1278 first-time donors were included in the logistic regression analyses.

RESULTS: Nine percent of donors who experienced an adverse event at their first donation did not return for a second donation. Vasovagal reactions decreased retention in both males and females (men—odds ratio [OR], 0.45; 95% CI, 0.23-0.89; women—OR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.51-0.98). Fatigue decreased retention in males only (OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.42-0.91), and subjective distress decreased retention in females only (OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.65-0.92).

CONCLUSION: In addition to decreasing vasovagal reactions, retention interventions could productively target coping with fatigue and reducing subjective distress after adverse reactions.

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