Context: Relatively little is known about family discussion concerning donation among African Americans in the United States, especially discussion predating the brain death of a family member and the donor request process.
Objectives: To explore the inclination of African Americans to engage in family discussion about organ donation and the characteristics of those who expressed a desire to their families to donate their organs upon death.
Design: Focus groups and a cross-sectional survey.
Setting: A large metropolitan complex in Houston, Tex, with a relatively sizeable African American population.
Participants: A total of 18 persons of African American background participated in 2 focus groups; 375 randomly selected African American residents were surveyed by questionnaire.
Main outcome measure: Prodonation family discussion.
Results: Only 100% of subjects were found to be in the "action" (having had a prodonation discussion) or "maintenance" (having had a prodonation discussion and not inclined to alter one's wishes) stages with regard to family discussion. These subjects were not found distinguished from others by age, gender, education, or frequency of religious attendance. They were, however, found differentiated from others by feelings of diffuse support for donation, knowledge of donation, having read or heard a lot about donation, and by the belief that organ donation was not against one's religion-when these variables were individually considered. Yet, when these variables were simultaneously considered in a multivariate discriminant function analysis, diffuse support for donation no longer distinguished those in the action/maintenance stage from other subjects.