Saving lives branch by branch: The effectiveness of driver licensing bureau campaigns to promote organ donor registry sign-ups to African Americans in Michigan

Tyler R. Harrison, Susan E. Morgan, Andy J. King, Elizabeth A. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

African Americans are disproportionately represented on the national waiting list for organ transplantation. Promoting organ donor registries is one way to improve the possibility that those on the waiting list can receive a life saving transplant. Driver licensing bureaus have been suggested as an efficient site for campaigns aimed at increasing state-based registry sign-ups. Previous research has suggested these campaigns work well for Caucasian populations, but there is less evidence supporting this approach in more diverse populations. To determine whether more diverse populations demonstrate similar sign-up rates when receiving a driver licensing bureau campaign, the present study used a previously successful strategy as the basis for designing and disseminating materials that would appeal to African Americans and Caucasians in two diverse counties in the state of Michigan (Wayne and Oakland Counties). Communication design and media priming served as the theoretical foundations of a three-prong campaign that used mass media, point-of-decision, and interpersonal components. Results from countywide and zip code data indicate that the campaign greatly increased sign-ups among African American residents (700% increase above baseline). Although more Caucasians still signed up than did African Americans, the inclusion of an interpersonal component resulted in similar numbers of registry sign-ups during 2 intervention months. The study provides evidence supporting the use of driver licensing bureau campaigns to promote organ donation registries to diverse audiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-819
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Volume16
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences

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