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Research project: Barriers to Tissue Donation: What cognitive and emotional associations do bereaved family members bring to the multi-tissue and corneal request interview? - Dormant - Dormant

Currently Active: 

NHS Blood and Transplant [NHSBT] Tissue Services aims to ‘save and improve patients' lives [NBS R&D Strategy, 2001], by providing the  tissue, such as eyes, heart valves, skin, tendons and bone, needed to carry out lifesaving and life enhancing operations.  NHSBT Tissue Services are hindered in meeting this aim by low levels of family agreement to corneal and multi tissue donation.

The aim of the study is to provide nurse practitioners who approach bereaved family members and request multi-tissue and eye donation, with an empirically developed framework of mental associations that bereaved family members make when being asked to consider multi tissue and eye donation. The study aims to identify trigger words or phrases, which when explicated, can be proactively addressed by nurse practitioners, so that they make more meaningful connections with bereaved family members when seeking informed consent for donation to proceed.

Outcomes and benefits will include a framework of associations explicating positive and negative aspects of multi tissue donation and which act as barriers to consent.

Aims and objectives

The aim of the study is to identify the mind map of cognitive and emotional associations that bereaved family members bring to the multi tissue donation discussion. 

The objectives for the study are:

  • To explicate the mental associations that are made when bereaved family members are asked to consider tissue and corneal donation
  • To identify the genesis of associations stimulated by the discussion around tissue and corneal donation
  • To provide a framework of associations that will potentially facilitate tissue coordinators making more meaningful connections with family members who are approached about multi tissue and corneal donation.

As the aim of this research is to seek ‘emotive' or ‘affective' information, the study will adopt associative qualitative research methods to achieve the stated aims.  The study will be carried out in two distinct but interlinked phases. Phase I will access archived recorded interviews between family members and nurse practitioners, whilst Phase II will carry out focus groups with family members.


Project team

Dr Tracy Long-Sutehall


Dr Magi Sque, Senior Lecturer, SoHS (Mentor)
Professor Laura Siminoff (Mentor) 
Chair in Clinical Practice and Innovation University of Wolverhampton,
Theresa A. Thomas Memorial Foundation in Cancer Prevention and Control
VCU Massey Cancer Center USA

Project funder


Related research groups

Complex Healthcare Processes
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