Predicting blood donation maintenance: the importance of planning future donations




Interventions to retain blood donors need to target the most influential and changeable factors. This study tested antecedents of three successive donation decisions.

Study Design and Methods

Participants were donors who had donated for the first time 1 year previous (n = 1018). Intention to continue donating, vasovagal reactions, deferral, anxiety, and planning failure were measured. Analyses distinguished between 1) those who registered for donation after questionnaire completion, versus those who did not; 2) those who did or did not register for donation a second time after questionnaire completion; and 3) those who did or did not register for donation a third time after questionnaire completion.


Three logistic regression analyses showed that the first donation decision was influenced by intention (odds ratio [OR], 1.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.30-2.21), number of donations made in the first year (OR, 2.35; 95% CI, 1.81-3.06), vasovagal reactions (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.87-0.97), and planning failure (OR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.70-0.95). The second donation decision was influenced by intention (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.06-1.95) and planning failure (OR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.57-0.78), while the third decision was influenced only by planning failure (OR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.73-1.00).


This indicates that for new donors, retention efforts should focus on the promotion of a positive intention and decreasing vasovagal reactions. However, decreasing planning failure could be an even better investment since planning seems to determine long-term retention.