The African American church as a donation site: motivations and barriers.
BACKGROUND: In the United States, African Americans donate at approximately half the rate of whites and therefore are underrepresented in the volunteer blood donor pool. The goal of this study was to identify motivators and barriers to African Americans donating blood. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: A consortium of 15 predominantly African American churches of varying denominations in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, participated in an 81-item self-administered survey. The questionnaire was designed to assess participant's demographic background, blood donation frequency, motivators and barriers to donation, knowledge and beliefs regarding donation, and overall health status. RESULTS: A total of 930 participants completed the survey: 72% female, 55% age 40 or older, 99% African American, and 58% college-educated. The most frequent reported motivators were donating to help save a life (96%) and donating because blood is needed (95%), while the most frequent barriers were that they rarely think about it and they were afraid, nervous, or anxious to give blood (35%). The association of barriers with donation status, age, gender, and education level was stronger than for motivators. Fear was more common in nondonors than lapsed and current donors, youngest compared to older adults, and women than men and less in those with higher income. CONCLUSION: Motivators and barriers to blood donation in African American church attendees differ depending on the respondents' demographics. To increase the effectiveness of church drives, donor recruitment should focus on addressing these barriers and motivators.
Shaz, BH; James, AB; Demmons, DG; Schreiber, GB; Hillyer, CD
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