Background: Recent investigations highlight how important it is to identify the key factors involved in the design of strategies to promote blood donation among undergraduates as a public health concern. The study aims to investigate attitudes and knowledge towards blood donation in university students with health education roles and examine the way sociodemographic and educational characteristics play a part in it.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional and multi-center design was used. A structured questionnaire was answered by 1128 Spanish university students (Schools of Health Sciences and Education Sciences).
Results: The knowledge test indicated a low score (M = 4.2 out of 10), being Me = 3.00 in the case of Education Sciences and Me = 5.00 in Health Sciences students. The greatest degree of importance is found in the "external incentives" dimension (M = 3.7 out of 5). Health science students and participants with relatives who needed a donation showed fewer "fears" (p ≤ 0.001) and "pretexts" (p ≤ 0.01).
Conclusions: The low knowledge score stresses the need to develop valuable health education-related strategies in the curriculum of studies related with health education; showing room for improvement particularly in Education Science students. Health education interventions aimed at increasing donors in the university environment should be designed while considering differences among undergraduates. Based on their better attitudes, health science students might play a relevant role in promoting blood donation.
Keywords: Blood donors; Education; Health; Knowledge, attitudes and practice in health; Students.
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