Effect of an iPod video intervention on consent to donate organs: a randomized trial

Ann Intern Med. 2012 Apr 3;156(7):483-90. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-156-7-201204030-00004.


Background: The gap between the supply of organs available for transplantation and demand is growing, especially among ethnic groups.

Objective: To evaluate the effect of a video designed to address concerns of ethnic groups about organ donation.

Design: Cluster randomized, controlled trial. Randomization was performed by using a random-number table with centralized allocation concealment. Participants and investigators assessing outcomes were not blinded to group assignment. (ClinicalTrials.gov registration number: NCT00870506)

Setting: Twelve branches of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles in northeastern Ohio.

Participants: 952 participants aged 15 to 66 years.

Intervention: Video (intervention; n = 443) or usual Bureau of Motor Vehicles license practices (control; n = 509).

Measurements: The primary outcome was the proportion of participants who provided consent for organ donation on a newly acquired driver's license, learner's permit, or state identification card. Secondary outcomes included willingness to make a living kidney donation to a family member in need and personal beliefs about donation.

Results: More participants who viewed the video consented to donate organs than control participants (84% vs. 72%; difference, 12 percentage points [95% CI, 6 to 17 percentage points]). The video was effective among black participants (76% vs. 54%; difference, 22 percentage points [CI, 9 to 35 percentage points]) and white participants (88% vs. 77%; difference, 11 percentage points [CI, 5 to 15 percentage points]). At the end of the trial, fewer intervention than control participants reported having insufficient information about organ donation (34% vs. 44%; difference, -10 percentage points [CI, -16 to -4 percentage points]), wanting to be buried with all of their organs (14% vs. 25%; difference, -11 percentage points [CI, -16 to -6 percentage points]), and having conflicts with organ donation (7% vs. 11%; difference, -4 percentage points [CI, -8 to -2 percentage points]).

Limitation: How the observed increases in consent to donate organs might translate into a greater organ supply in the region is unclear.

Conclusion: Exposure to a brief video addressing concerns that ethnic groups have about organ donation just before obtaining a license, permit, or identification card increased consent to donate organs among white and black participants.

Primary funding source: National Institutes of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Decision Making*
  • Ethnicity / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • MP3-Player*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Ohio
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement*
  • Young Adult

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00870506