Similarities and Differences Between African Americans’ and European Americans’ Attitudes, Knowledge, and Willingness to Communicate About Organ Donation1


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    This study was supported by Grant #1H39OT000 12-01 from the Health Resources and Services Administration's Division of Transplantation (HRSA/DoT), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of HRSA/DoT.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Susan E. Morgan, Department of Communication, Rutgers University, 4 Huntington Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1071. E-mail:


While little is known about African Americans’ attitudes and knowledge about organ donation, even less is known about how African Americans’ attitudes, values, and beliefs affect their behavior and behavioral intentions regarding organ donation; or how African Americans’ views are similar to or different from those of European Americans. Adults working 2 sites of a national corporation were randomly selected to complete a survey about organ donation willingness, intention to sign an organ donor card, knowledge and attitudes toward organ donation, and level of altruism. Results indicate that African Americans differ significantly from Whites on several individual attitude and knowledge items. However, the basic relationship between knowledge, attitudes, values, and behaviors regarding organ donation between the 2 groups appears the same. Furthermore, these results indicate that future organ donation promotion campaigns must focus on increasing basic knowledge and countering myths about organ donation for both populations.