Transplant Trial Watch

A Clustered Randomized Trial Informing Patients on Dialysis About Their Ability to Donate Organs and Tissues.

Andrews, A. M., et al.

Progress in Transplantation 2020; 30(3): 220-227.

This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of using peer mentors to deliver an organ donation education intervention for encouraging dialysis patients to enroll on an organ donation registry.

Patients were randomized to either the peer mentor meetings (intervention) group or the organ donation mailings (control) group.

12 dialysis units with a total of 1775 dialysis patients, 1294 of which were approached.

The primary endpoint was verified registration on the state (Michigan) organ donor registry. The secondary endpoint was the assessment of attitudes towards organ donation.

6 to 9 months

CET Conclusions
In this cluster randomised controlled trial, dialysis units were randomised to a donation education intervention delivered by peer mentors versus organ donation mailings. No details about the randomisation method or whether allocation was concealed were included in the report. Dialysis patients in the intervention group met with their peer mentor 7 times for a 15 minute session regarding the decision to donate organs. The sample size calculation showed that 420 patients were needed for 80% power. 554 patients were randomised. Twenty-eight percent of patients were lost to follow up and these patients did not differ from those who remained in the study. The adjusted odds of signing up for organ donation at follow-up in the intervention group were 2.52 times greater than the control group. The ‘General Benefits’ scale, addressing positive aspects of organ donation, showed a significantly higher score for the intervention arm compared to the control arm but the ‘General Barriers’ scale, addressing fears and misconceptions, did not show a difference between arms. The authors conclude that future research should further explore the potential of training laypersons to provide donation education.

Jadad score

Data analysis
Modified intention-to-treat analysis

Allocation concealment

Trial registration

Funding source
Non-industry funded