Knowledge, attitudes and risk perception surrounding blood donation and receipt in two high income Caribbean countries

AbstractObjectives

To compare knowledge, attitudes and risk perception related to blood donation and transfusion in Trinidad and Tobago and Bahamas.

Background

Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas are two Caribbean countries whose national blood transfusion systems are heavily reliant (76.2% and 76%) on family replacement donors. The Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation recommends blood collection from exclusively voluntary nonremunerated donors on the grounds that family replacement donor-based blood systems are unsafe and inadequate compared to those based on voluntary nonremunerated blood donors.

Methods/Materials

A 23-item questionnaire was distributed online by snowball sampling in these two countries to assess knowledge, attitudes, risk perception and behaviour. SPSS version 24 was used for interpretative and descriptive data analysis, chi-square to measure significance and linear regression the strength of associations. p <?0.05 was used to define statistical significance.

Results

Four hundred and fifty three (453) responses were obtained from Trinidad and Tobago and 101 from the Bahamas. Knowledge and positive attitudes were high in both countries (75.5% vs. 80.2%, p <?0.001 and 96.6% vs. 100%, p <?0.001). A substantial proportion of respondents held the perception that the local blood donation system was safe or very safe (26.4 and 61.4%, p <?0.001) that was linked to the misconception that the prevalent method of blood donation was voluntary nonremunerated (27.8 and 51.4%, p <?0.001). Concerns about receiving blood were underpinned by mistrust of transfusion-related procedures.

Conclusion

A social interface to transfer information between blood transfusion services and the community could encourage voluntary nonremunerated blood donation and reduce concerns about receiving transfusion.