Early Identification of the Non-Directed Kidney Donor: Are there Personal Characteristics of College Students that can Predict their Willingness to Consider Non-directed Kidney Donation?
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There is an escalating gap between those patients with End-Stage Renal Disease [ESRD] and available kidneys. A reasonably new and untapped resource of potential kidneys is the non-directed kidney donor. College students are in the infantile stages of their adult identity development and if students who are willing to consider non-directed donation [NDD] can be identified, educational interventions may be created to nurture this interest and increase the likelihood they will donate at some time in their lives. This study attempted to determine if there are characteristics of college students that make them willing to consider non-directed donation. Four hundred and fifty eight students completed a 39-question survey. A structural equation model was created to identify predictors of college students’ willingness to consider NDD. The model had four moderating variables, Sex/Gender; Race/Ethnicity; Religion; and Sexual Orientation; two mediating variables, Political Ideology and Religiosity; and three latent variables, Experience with Kidney Disease, Donation, and Transplantation; Knowledge on Kidney Disease, Donation, and Transplantation; and Medical Altruism. A binary correlation of variables was run using the SPSS Analysis of Moment Structure AMOS Bootstraps Path Analysis program. Path coefficients and R2 (Kenny, 2015) were used to determine the predictive power of the model variables. It was found that very little in the model predicted students’ willingness to become NDD. The only variable that showed predictive power was Medical Altruism (r = .14, p < .01). Goodness of fit tests were run using the Relative Chi Square (CMIN/DF), Chi Square/Degree of Freedom Ratio and Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) indices and the original model was not a good fit to the data. As a result, a new model was created to determine predictors of Medical Altruism. It was found that age (r = .17, p < .01) and the importance of loved ones’ opinions (r=.11, p=.022) had some predictive power. Older students and students who made medically altruistic decisions independent of the approval of others were more likely to be medically altruistic and Medical Altruism was a predictor of willingness to consider NDD. Future research should work to identify both independent and altruistic college students. Once identified, educational interventions can be created to alert them about the kidney shortage and the donation process in an attempt to help increase their preexisting inclination towards donation.