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Article

Bone Marrow Donation: Factors Influencing Intentions in African Americans

Mary Ellen Smith Glasgow
Gerald Bello
ONF 2007, 34(2), 369-377 DOI: 10.1188/07.ONF.369-377

Purpose/Objectives: To identify factors influencing the intentions of African Americans to donate or not to donate bone marrow.

Design: Exploratory, descriptive.

Setting: Participants were recruited from three churches, four public housing developments, and a university teaching hospital—all in the Philadelphia, PA, area.

Sample: African American adults aged 18-60 years and able to read, write, and speak English.

Methods: Focus groups were conducted for the purpose of instrument development. A factor analysis was conducted on questionnaire data. A multiple regression was conducted of the demographic variables and the factors that contributed to behavioral intention to donate or not to donate bone marrow.

Main Research Variables: Attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and behavioral intentions regarding bone marrow donation.

Findings: "Fear or not trusting," "external influences," and "concerned about resources" correlated significantly with the intention not to donate bone marrow. Helping others, approval of people, and value of knowledge correlated significantly with the intention to donate bone marrow.

Conclusions: Greater attention must be paid to increasing donations and improving the critical need for bone marrow donors. Patient education programs should be expanded to improve African Americans' knowledge of the importance of bone marrow donation, including the process, associated costs, and resources available to donors.

Implications for Nursing: Nurses—irrespective of practice areas—are key contributors to increase the rate of bone marrow donation, particularly among African Americans.

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