Motivators and deterrents to blood donation among Black South Africans: a qualitative analysis of focus group data

Transfus Med. 2015 Aug;25(4):249-58. doi: 10.1111/tme.12218. Epub 2015 Jun 23.


Background and objectives: South Africa has a markedly skewed representation where the majority of blood (62%) is presently collected from an ethnically White minority. This study seeks to identify culturally specific factors affecting motivation of donors in South Africa.

Materials and methods: We performed a qualitative study to evaluate motivators and deterrents to blood donation among Black South Africans. A total of 13 focus groups, comprising a total of 97 Black South Africans, stratified by age and geographic location were conducted. Transcripts of the interviews were analysed using a coding framework by Bednall & Bove.

Results: Participants made 463 unique comments about motivators focusing primarily on promotional communications (28%), incentives (20%) and prosocial motivation (16%). Participants made 376 comments about deterrents which focused primarily on fear (41%), negative attitudes (14%) and lack of knowledge (10%).

Conclusion: Although prosocial motivation (altruism) was the most frequently mentioned individual motivator, promotional communication elicited more overall comments by participants. As reported by many authors, fear and lack of awareness were strong deterrents, but scepticism engendered by perceived racial discrimination in blood collection were unique to the South African environment.

Keywords: blood donation; deterrents; motivators.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Altruism
  • Attitude to Health
  • Black People / psychology*
  • Blood Donors / psychology*
  • Culture
  • Donor Selection
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • HIV Infections / blood
  • HIV Infections / ethnology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Persuasive Communication
  • Qualitative Research
  • Racism
  • Social Values
  • South Africa
  • Trust
  • Young Adult