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Evaluation of a New German blood donor questionnaire

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Abstract

Background and Objectives

In Germany, blood donors must complete a donor history questionnaire (DHQ). In 2011, a new standardized DHQ for Germany was proposed which included questions about sexual risk behaviour that raised concerns about acceptance by donors.

Materials and Methods

We assessed the acceptability and ease of use of the new DHQ in two German donor populations, by asking the donors to complete a paper survey evaluating the design and clarity of the questions of the new DHQ with a focus on the questions addressing sexual risk behaviour.

Results

In Greifswald, 2000 donors (mean age 32 ± 12 years) participated, and in Hagen 2088 donors (mean age 48 ± 14 years). Ratings between the two populations showed only minor differences. Donors reported that the questions in the new DHQ were understandable and clearly structured. Perception of comfort level with questions addressing sexual risk behaviour differed significantly depending on donor characteristics such as age, gender and educational level. Overall, the new DHQ seems to deter approximately 5% of potential donors from blood donation.

Conclusion

The new DHQ was acceptable to the vast majority of donors. Potential donors who were older, male gender and less educated were most at risk of refusing to donate and may benefit from educational interventions.

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