The Effect of Positive and Negative Poster Messages on Organ Donor Registration
Green M., Byrne MHV., Legard C., Chen E., Critchley A., Stainer B., Chaggar H., Symington M., Hu L., Brathwaite-Shirley C., Mayes J., Mogg JAW., Murphy J., Saeb-Parsy K.
Background: There is a mismatch between the number of people who require transplants and the number of organ donors. Promotional materials have been shown to increase rates of organ donor registration. This study assessed the impact on the intention to join the organ donor registry of a gain-framed message about lives saved through organ donation compared to a loss-framed message about lives lost waiting for a transplant. Methods: Two posters were designed that were identical other than the slogan. One slogan was gain-framed: “One organ donor can save 9 lives!” and the other loss-framed: “3 people die every day in the UK waiting for an organ transplant.” Twenty copies of each were distributed between hospitals in Cambridge and Newcastle, UK, for 20 weeks. After 10 weeks, the gain-framed and loss-framed posters swapped locations. Each poster had a QR code that linked to the online organ donor register sign-up form, and the click-through rate was used to determine registration. Analysis was performed using a 2-tailed sign binomial test. Results: Sixty-eight registrations occurred over a 20-week period. Overall, there was no significant difference in registrations between gain- and loss-framed posters (37 vs 31, P =.54). However, poster location influenced registration, as prior to the location swap there was a significant difference in gain-framed vs loss-framed posters (28 vs 10, P =.005). Additionally, registration was significantly higher in Cambridge vs Newcastle (47 vs 21, P =.01). Conclusions: Posters can increase organ donor register (ODR) registration independent of gain- or loss-framing. However, poster location, both intra- and inter-hospital, significantly influences effectiveness.