Predicting Blood Donation Intention: The Importance of Fear 

Gilchrist, P. T. (Macquarie University), Masser, B. M. (University of Queensland), Fedoruk, C. (McGill University), Horsley, K. (McGill University), Ditto, B. (McGill University) 

Blood donor recruitment and retention remain an important worldwide challenge due to changing demographics and shifts in the demand for blood. Social and cognitive models help predict donation intention, though the importance of affective deterrents has become increasingly evident. This study aimed to identify specific fears that predict donation intention and to determine if self-efficacy and attitude mediate this relation. Three hundred and forty seven individuals (269 non-donors and 78 donors) living in Québec responded to questionnaires assessing medical fears, theory of planned behaviour constructs, anticipated regret, and facilitating factors (i.e., time-commitment and rewards). To examine the relative importance of these factors in the context of blood donation, these questions were also asked about other medical activities that involve salient needle stimuli: flu vaccinations and dental examinations. Medical fears, especially blood-related fears, were significantly associated with donation intention. Bootstrapping tests of mediation confirmed that this relation was mediated by attitude and self-efficacy. Fears were not associated with attitudes and intentions for dental examinations or flu vaccinations. These results suggest that blood-related fears play a key role in predicting donation intentions. Mediational pathways provide support for interventions to improve donation intentions by addressing specific fears and improving donors’ beliefs in their ability to manage fears. 

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Emotion, Norms, and Pro-social behaviour