• Vol. 45 No. 8
  • 15 August 2016

Psychosocial Factors, Knowledge and Attitudes Influencing Skin and Heart Valve Donation among Healthcare Professionals in Singapore



In Singapore, tissue donation is covered under the Medical (Therapy, Education and Research) Act. The objective of this study is to review the demographic and psychosocial factors, which may cause hesitation/unwillingness amongst healthcare professionals towards tissue donation. Materials and Methods: A survey comprising 18-items was conducted at the Singapore General Hospital and National Heart Centre Singapore. A total of 521 individuals participated in the survey. Descriptive statistics were performed for the demographic profiles of participants, the factors leading to the support of tissue donation, reasons for hesitation/reluctance to donate tissue and motivating factors to discuss tissue donation with next-of-kin. Pearson’s chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were employed to assess possible association between various factors and support towards tissue donation. Analyses were performed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences V.21.0 software. Results: A total of 64.9% of participants had heard about skin donation; 48.9% had heard about heart valve donation; 4.5% were tissue pledgers. The primary reason for pro-donation was the altruism of “improving someone’s quality of life”. However, a majority stated they “can decide this in the later part of life” as their main reason for hesitation; 82.3% were willing to discuss their tissue donation wish with next-of-kin, while 53.1% were likely to make the decision of donation on behalf of their deceased next-of-kin. Conclusion: Results highlighted important psychosocial and professional factors that influence the hesitation/ reluctance towards donation. Hence, there is a need to re-strategise educational efforts in accordance with the target audiences and address specific misconceptions and concerns.

In Singapore, the donation of heart valves and skin is covered under a consent-based opt-in legislation called the Medical (Therapy, Education and Research) Act (MTERA). This Act allows individuals who wish to pledge their organs and tissues upon death for transplant, research or education purposes to opt-in by completing a pledge form.

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