Are There Missed Opportunities to Maximize Organ Donation Registrations? An Examination of Driver’s License Applications Across the United States Article

Stevens, J, Tumin, D, Shaffer, KL et al. (2019). Are There Missed Opportunities to Maximize Organ Donation Registrations? An Examination of Driver’s License Applications Across the United States . 29(2), 173-178. 10.1177/1526924819835832

cited authors

  • Stevens, J; Tumin, D; Shaffer, KL; Bickman, L; Hoagwood, KE; Hayes, D

fiu authors

abstract

  • Introduction: With 116 000 people waiting for transplants and 8000 patients dying annually on waiting lists, the United States has a considerable organ shortage. An insufficient number of Americans have registered to become organ donors when obtaining driver’s licenses or ID cards. Across states, there is considerable variability in organ donor registration rates as well as driver’s license applications. Methods: The purpose of this project was to describe the variability in the phrasing of the organ donor registration question by state bureaus of motor vehicles as well as other application questions that might influence this decision. In particular, the frequency of states employing empirically supported messages to increase donor registrations was ascertained. The content and phrasing of 46 different driver’s license applications was coded in regard to seeking organ donor registrations. Findings: No states used the empirically supported strategies of reciprocity, descriptive norms, or loss/gain framing from the interdisciplinary field of behavioral economics. Twelve states used injunctive norms to signify social approval for organ donation. Many state applications had lengthy organ donation sections and health questions that could discourage donor registrations. Discussion: There is an extremely low use of empirically supported messages to increase organ donation registrations in driver’s license applications in the United States. Opportunities exist for thoughtful consideration of the wording of driver’s license applications. States interested in exploring ways to increase donations could undertake controlled variation of applications to test the effects of message framing on registration rates.

publication date

  • June 1, 2019

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 173

end page

  • 178

volume

  • 29

issue

  • 2