Theory content, question-behavior effects, or form of delivery effects for intention to become an organ donor? Two randomized trials

Frank Doyle, Karen Morgan, Mary Mathew, Princy Palatty, Prashanti Kamat, Sally Doherty, Jody Quigley, Josh Henderson, Ronan O’carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Eliciting different attitudes with survey questionnaires may impact on intention to donate organs. Previous research used varying numbers of questionnaire items, or different modes of intervention delivery, when comparing groups. We aimed to determine whether intention to donate organs differed among groups exposed to different theoretical content, but similar questionnaire length, in different countries. We tested the effect of excluding affective attitudinal items on intention to donate, using constant item numbers in two modes of intervention delivery. Study 1: A multi-country, interviewer-led, cross-sectional randomized trial recruited 1007 participants, who completed questionnaires as per group assignment: including all affective attitude items, affective attitude items replaced, negatively-worded affective attitude items replaced. Study 2 recruited a UK-representative, cross-sectional sample of 616 participants using an online methodology, randomly assigned to the same conditions. Multilevel models assessed effects of group membership on outcomes: intention to donate (primary), taking a donor card, following a web-link (secondary). In study 1, intention to donate did not differ among groups. Study 2 found a small, significantly higher intention to donate in the negatively-worded affective attitudes replaced group. Combining data yielded no group differences. No differences were seen for secondary outcomes. Ancillary analyses suggest significant interviewer effects. Contrary to previous research, theoretical content may be less relevant than number or valence of questionnaire items, or form of intervention delivery, for increasing intention to donate organs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1304
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 01-04-2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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