BACKGROUND: Scientific literature on blood donation is prevalently concentrated on adults, leaving out adolescents almost completely. While the latter represents "ideal" candidates, they constitute, however, the segment of the population least present among blood donors. OBJECTIVES: The present work, composed of two studies, proposes looking into the representations that the adolescents have of blood donation and give voice to the motivations that could persuade them to becoming donors once they reach the legal age for donation. Study I aims to investigate adolescents' representations about the world of blood donation. Study II aims to investigate a) the underlying motivations for blood donations and b) the relationship between motivations and propensity to donate. MATERIALS/METHODS: This paper is based on a mixed methods research design. In Study I, five focus groups were conducted comprising a total of 25 adolescents; for Study II, a self-report questionnaire was administered to 285 adolescents. RESULTS: Study I reveals a lack of information for everything regarding donation, something that produces fear, false beliefs, and an idealized image of the donor. Study II shows that for males, social motivations are fundamental while ego-protective motivations are deterrents, and that females are most impacted by understanding. CONCLUSION: The study shows how the adolescent population cannot be recruited in the same way as adults, and presents valuable points for those who finalize advertising campaigns for donor recruitment recruitment.
- blood donation