【Objective】 This study assessed Japanese citizens’ attitudes toward organ transplantation and the acceptability of being offered the option to donate organs upon death, to gain insights into the most appropriate approach to offering this option in Japan.
【Design】 Cross-sectional quantitative survey study.
【Methods】 An internet panel survey was conducted in 2018. Two thousand Japanese respondents (1,208 male, 792 female) aged 18-79 years were included. Respondents were selected by proportional distribution based on residential prefectures. All data were gathered anonymously. Statistical analyses were conducted using IBM SPSS Statistics 25 and included descriptive statistics and chi-square tests. Significance was set at p<0.05.
【Results】 Interest in the topic of organ transplantation was reported by 42.8% of respondents; however, only 24.4% indicated having discussed organ donation with their families. Nearly one-third responded that they would donate their own organs upon death. Regarding acceptability of medical personnel presenting the option of organ donation as a general practice, 81.7% thought it was good or rather good practice, but only 23.2% indicated that they would themselves like to be presented with the option to donate or not donate a family member’s organs when the family member’s death was imminent. People interested in organ transplantation were significantly more likely to prefer having the option of organ donation when a family member’s death was imminent (p<0.001).
【Conclusion】 These results indicate that Japanese find being given the option of organ donation acceptable. People interested in organ transplantation show positive attitudes toward being offered the organ donation option. Increasing public awareness of organ transplantation could therefore help build positive attitudes toward donation.