Date: Saturday, May 30, 2020
Session Time: 3:15pm-4:00pm
Presentation Time: 3:30pm-4:00pm
*Purpose: There are more than 14,000 people on the national waiting list for a liver transplant. Approximately 25% will die before receiving a life-saving transplant because of a lack of deceased donors. Living donor transplant is a viable solution to address organ shortage and waiting list mortality, but a lack of awareness and education among patients, physicians, and the general public is a challenge. WebMD and UPMC launched a survey via the WebMD and Medscape websites to assess how a lack of awareness and misperceptions and biases about liver disease and living-donor liver transplant are preventing patients, potential donors, and physicians from discussing living donation as a first-line option.
*Methods: UPMC and WebMD surveyed 4,600 consumers and 660 physicians during a four-week period in March and April of 2019. The survey examined the attitudes and perceptions of people who need a liver transplant, knowledge of the liver transplant waiting list, willingness to be a living donor, requests for living donation, and knowledge of whether the liver regenerates. Data was segmented based on sex, race/ethnicity, and age. Differences in effect sizes were tested at the 95% confidence level.
*Results: 70% of respondents expressed willingness to become a living donor for a family member or someone they know but only 39% reported that they would be willing to be a living-liver donor for someone they do not know. 48% of those surveyed said they’d be willing to ask a friend or family to donate if they needed a liver, but only 23% were willing to ask a non-friend/family member. Only 10% of those surveyed with liver disease said they learned about living donation from their physician. Of the randomly selected Medscape U.S. physicians who practice full-time in primary care, gastroenterology, and hepatology and see patients diagnosed with liver disease, approximately 43% of physicians reported a lack of knowledge regarding living-donor liver transplant. Most physicians view living-donor liver transplantation as safe for donors, although PCPs lag gastroenterologists and hepatologists.
*Conclusions: Most people have a basic understanding of living donation and would consider this an option, yet people are still dying on the waiting list due to a lack of education about living donation. An educational gap among patients, physicians, and the general public still exists surrounding living-donor liver transplant that may contribute to high mortality rates among liver disease patients.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Zell C, Caruso C, Kirby T, Piccirilli S, Ganesh S, Whyte J, Humar A. Understanding Attitudes and Perceptions about Liver Disease and Living-Donor Liver Transplant- Results of a National Survey [abstract]. Am J Transplant. 2020; 20 (suppl 3). https://atcmeetingabstracts.com/abstract/understanding-attitudes-and-perceptions-about-liver-disease-and-living-donor-liver-transplant-results-of-a-national-survey/. Accessed February 26, 2021.
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