Session Time: 3:15pm-4:00pm
Presentation Time: 3:30pm-4:00pm
*Purpose: : Consistent and accurate public messaging is crucial in organ donation and transplantation, particularly in the emerging field of vascular composite allotransplantation (VCA). Currently, public education regarding VCA commonly occurs via news stories of high profile VCA cases. Comprehensive education, disseminated in part through social media, could improve the public’s knowledge of VCA. We assessed the scope and limitations of current VCA educational materials and social media coverage.
*Methods: Education materials from organ procurement organizations (OPOs), VCA centers, the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network, Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, and Health Resources and Services Administration were identified, including web pages, written documents (e.g., fact sheets, research reports), and OPO Facebook and Twitter posts. Materials were thematically analyzed to identify topics covered and important gaps in current VCA education.
*Results: 1,314 public educational materials were analyzed, including Facebook posts (61.6%), Twitter posts (29.9%), websites (6.4%), and written documents (2.1%). Upper limb (34.7%) and face (34.5%) transplants were more commonly addressed than reproductive (6.4%) or other VCA types (2.8%). Most materials (76.6%) referenced a specific VCA patient story (Table 1). Social media posts generally described VCA stories as “inspiring,” “amazing,” and “beautiful.”
Few materials described which patient population could benefit from VCA (e.g., Veterans, amputees, burn victims) (16.4%), the functional and psychosocial outcomes of VCA recipients (15.9% and 11.9%, respectively), the separate authorization requirement for VCA donation (6.6%), the appearance of transplanted VCA organs (1.3%), or the VCA candidate selection processes (0.4%). Some social media posts included language that misrepresented important aspects of VCA, such as the donor and recipient resemblance: “[The donor’s wife] Lilly feared seeing her husband’s face on a new man would trigger painful memories of losing him.” (NCNC, Facebook)
*Conclusions: Current VCA public education materials and discussion of VCA on social media could be improved to more comprehensively educate the public so as to be more prepared to authorize VCA donation, become potential donors, or learn about transplant options.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Rasmussen S, Henderson M, Anderson N, Uriarte J, Doby B, Cooney C, Segev D, Brandacher G, Gordon E. Public Education about Vascular Composite Allotransplantation and Donation: A Content Analysis of Social Media and Educational Documents [abstract]. Am J Transplant. 2020; 20 (suppl 3). https://atcmeetingabstracts.com/abstract/public-education-about-vascular-composite-allotransplantation-and-donation-a-content-analysis-of-social-media-and-educational-documents/. Accessed August 1, 2021.
« Back to 2020 American Transplant Congress