BACKGROUND: Studies analyzing motivation factors that lead to blood donation have found altruism to be the primary motivation factor; however, social capital has not been analyzed in this context. Our study examines the association between motivation factors (altruism, self-interest, and response to direct appeal) and social capital (cognitive and structural) across three large blood centers in Brazil.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 7635 donor candidates from October 15 through November 20, 2009. Participants completed self-administered questionnaires on demographics, previous blood donation, human immunodeficiency virus testing and knowledge, social capital, and donor motivations. Enrollment was determined before the donor screening process.
RESULTS: Among participants, 43.5 and 41.7% expressed high levels of altruism and response to direct appeal, respectively, while only 26.9% expressed high levels of self-interest. More high self-interest was observed at Hemope-Recife (41.7%). Of participants, 37.4% expressed high levels of cognitive social capital while 19.2% expressed high levels of structural social capital. More high cognitive and structural social capital was observed at Hemope-Recife (47.3 and 21.3%, respectively). High cognitive social capital was associated with high levels of altruism, self-interest, and response to direct appeal. Philanthropic and high social altruism were associated with high levels of altruism and response to direct appeal.
CONCLUSION: Cognitive and structural social capital and social altruism are associated with altruism and response to direct appeal, while only cognitive social capital is associated with self-interest. Designing marketing campaigns with these aspects in mind may help blood banks attract potential blood donors more efficiently.