Session Time: 3:15pm-4:45pm
Presentation Time: 4:15pm-4:27pm
*Purpose: Despite the promise of vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) as a viable alternative to available reconstructive procedures or prosthetics, its future relies heavily on families’ willingness to authorize donation for VCA. This study examined the general public’s knowledge of and disposition towards VCA.
*Methods: Using a targeted social media campaign, respondents were recruited to participate in a series of focus group interviews designed to measure knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, regarding organ, tissue, and VCA donation. Probes were used to examine views on different types of VCA and concerns specific to each VCA graft. The group interviews were audio recorded, and the recordings transcribed for qualitative analysis. Codes were developed deductively from the questions posed and inductively from emergent themes. Transcripts were uploaded to the qualitative software, MAXQDA, for analyses. Trained research staff used the developed codebook to guide coding and analyses. Each transcript was independently coded by two members of the research team; intercoder reliability was achieved with eighty-four percent agreement.
*Results: Participants (N=53) represented a diverse cross-section of the population: 39.6% White, 28.3% African American, 22.6% Hispanic, and 11.3% Asian. Mean age was 40 (SD 17.3; 18-71), and 52.9% had at least a bachelor’s degree. Consistent with prior research, qualitative analyses found high levels of knowledge and acceptance of organ donation generally but less knowledge and acceptance of tissue donation. Respondents indicated little knowledge about VCA but positively noted it as a novel and potentially useful technology. Compared to organ and tissue donation, respondents shared similar concerns to donating a VCA such as wanting to know a deceased family member’s wishes. Other concerns expressed were uniquely about VCA donation, including it being more closely tied to personal identity especially in the case of hand and face grafts. Respondents expressed less willingness to receive a VCA and also expressed less interest in pre-designating themselves on a VCA registry in comparison to solid organ donation. Unique concerns about VCA were expressed across all ethnic groups. Overall, African Americans expressed greater concerns about VCA donation, particularly with regard to face donation and were more undecided and unwilling to receive a VCA. In general, Caucasians were more comfortable with VCA, citing altruism and a belief that their families would be in favor of it.
*Conclusions: The findings suggest that public awareness and educational campaigns are required to bring VCA into wider acceptance, but that certain groups are more likely to have greater receptivity than others. The results have significant implications on how to target and educate different segments of the general public and development of skills by organ procurement organization staff to discuss the VCA option with families of donor-eligible patients.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Siminoff LA, Sarwer DB, Alolod GP, Davis E, McGregor H, Gardiner HM. New and Unknown: VCA Acceptability to the General Public [abstract]. Am J Transplant. 2020; 20 (suppl 3). https://atcmeetingabstracts.com/abstract/new-and-unknown-vca-acceptability-to-the-general-public/. Accessed November 26, 2020.
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