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Evaluation of an eLearning System to Train Health Professionals to Communicate about Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation with Donor Families

Prog Transplant. 2022 Jun 10:15269248221107040. doi: 10.1177/15269248221107040. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) donation relies on obtaining surrogate authorization. Yet, many donor professionals have limited experience discussing composite allograft donation. Using virtual and interactive elements, the eLearning program, Communicating Effectively about Donation for Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (CEaD-VCA), was developed to enhance the quality of donor professionals’ communication approach.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS: We tested the effectiveness of the eLearning program in improving donor professionals’ knowledge, preparedness, and confidence leading discussions with families.

DESIGN: Donor professionals who primarily obtain family authorization for solid organ and tissue donation were recruited from 2 regional Organ Procurement Organizations. The training was evaluated using a nonrandomized pre-post design. Participants completed an online survey with items assessing their knowledge, preparedness, and confidence for donation discussions. Pre- and post-training responses were compared using paired sample t-tests.

RESULTS: The sample included 42 donor professionals. The majority (71.4%) had at least 3 years of work experience, and over half (52.4%) had no experience discussing VCA donation with families. Post-training, significant increases in mean knowledge scores (6.4 pre to 7.0 post, P < 0.01) and mean self-reported preparation (6.6 pre to 7.9 post, P < 0.0001) were observed. There were significant increases in mean confidence scores for discussing face (6.2 pre to 7.9 post, P < 0.0001) and hand (6.2 pre to 8.0 post, P < 0.0001) transplants.

CONCLUSION: The CEaD-VCA program was effective in increasing donor professionals’ knowledge, preparation, and confidence when discussing donation, and holds potential for improving donor professional communication during donation discussions.

PMID:35686350 | DOI:10.1177/15269248221107040

By Nevin Manimala

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