A critical contribution in a time of crisis: Examining motivations and deterrents to COVID?19 convalescent plasma donation and future donation intentions among prospective Canadian donors


To understand motivations and deterrents to donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma for a clinical trial and determine whether they predict intention to donate source plasma.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian Blood Services was involved in three nationally coordinated convalescent plasma clinical trials, requiring the recruitment of several thousand prospective convalescent plasma donors. Understanding the motivations and deterrents of donors in the unique context of a clinical trial and ongoing pandemic can inform recruitment for source plasma donation beyond a clinical trial.

Methods and Materials

We invited 2785 Canadians who had registered interest in donating COVID-19 convalescent plasma to participate in an online survey containing a 42-item scale on motivators of and deterrents to donation. Between April 26th and May 19th, 2021, 979 responded (35.1%). We included a final sample of 820 participants with sufficient data across all scales. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis determined the factor structure of the scale. Regression analysis assessed the extent to which the factors predicted intention to donate.


Four factors were identified: ‘helping relationally’, ‘deterrents to donation’, ‘social facilitators’, and ‘access to the donation centre’, each with good internal consistency (? = 0.78–95). Higher scores on the helping relationally scale were associated with higher odds of intention to donate, whereas higher scores on the deterrents scale were associated with lower odds of intention to donate.


Participants were motivated by an interest in helping people who are ill and contributing to research committed to finding treatments in a time of crisis. Outside the crisis context, blood service operators seeking to recruit source plasma donors should emphasise its lifesaving potential and the impact of donation on the community.