Nurses working in Northern Israel: the effect of religion, attitudes, perceptions and professional behaviour towards organ donation
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis
Background: In general, the shortage of organs and tissues for donation reflects not only the rise in the number of patients in need of transplants, but also the failure to acquire sufficient donors. A variety of factors is responsible for this shortage, including poor public awareness and insufficient knowledge, religious perceptions of potential donors and families, and the failure of healthcare staff to identify potential donors. Because of their close relationships with potential donors and families, nurses are vitally important in the donation process. The hospital nursing population in Israel is composed of people from a mixture of religious groups, creating a complex environment which may influence the nurse's behaviour. There is thus a clear need to examine what factors affect the professional behaviour of nurses in the organ donation process. Aims: The overall aim of this research was develop a sensitive psychometric scale to identify key points in nurses' perceptions of professional duty toward organ donation in the context of religion. Methods: The research was divided into four stages using a number of methods. First, a qualitative study with seven homogenous focus groups of hospital nurses grouped by religion was done. The findings were used for the second stage, whose aim was to develop a sensitive psychometric scale of the coverage, relevance and readability of the initial items and a pilot study examining each item. Next, a large-scale field test was conducted and the data were then analysed using principal component analysis. In the third stage, reliability and validity of the newly developed Care & Donate scale were evaluated. Finally, in stage four, the relationship between the Care & Donate scale and key questions in each category was demonstrated. Results: The first stage found thirteen central themes, reduced into four categories, reflecting the nurses' perceptions towards organ donation. The next stage produced an initial conceptual framework for developing a psychometric scale. In the field test stage, a principal component analysis produced a robust conceptual framework composed of 23 items in three subscales. Conclusion: This research is the first to develop a reliable, valid, sensitive measure of nurses’ attitudes towards organ donation in north of Israel: the Care & Donate scale. The scale should provide the basis for an intervention program for nurses and help evaluate the effectiveness of such programs. Analysis of the Care & Donate scale also provided evidence that the scale is related to scales developed outside of Israel, possibly leading to its use in other countries.
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