Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Social and Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Laura Siminoff


The impact of deceased tissue donation and transplantation is far-reaching; however, little is known about the public’s attitudes towards tissue donation. Siminoff, Traino, and Gordon (2010) found that families’ attitudes towards tissue donation were a significant predictor of consent; specifically, families that were initially favorable towards tissue donation were more likely to donate their loved ones tissues than families that were initially unfavorable towards tissue donation. Using a qualitative coding approach and the Tripartite Model of Attitude Structure (affective, behavioral, and cognitive attitude components) as a conceptual framework, families’ expressed attitudes toward tissue donation were extracted from N=240 audiorecordings of past tissue donation requests from 16 different OPOs. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with N=14 Tissue Requesters from LifeNet Health in Virginia Beach, Virginia about their perceptions of families’ attitudes. Together, 14 attitude domains and 34 subdomains were derived from the families’ expressed attitudes. Several multivariate analyses were performed. After controlling for time spent discussing tissue donation and confusion between tissues and organs, affective attitudes were significantly different among three FDM initial response groups (favorable, unsure, and unfavorable). Further, the attitude domains “donation invokes positive emotion” and “pro-donation behaviors” were the best discriminators of FDM groups. Suggestions for educational interventions were discussed.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2013