Age-based Considerations in Educating Children About Organ Transplantation


  • Carolina Francielli Soares Benedetti
  • Donna M. Wilson


This study sought undergraduate nursing student views on the best method for educating children of different ages about organ transplantation when they are candidates for the procedure. This was a cross-sectional survey of volunteers who completed a questionnaire. For children under age 6, the students indicated most often that the best method to teach them was “Parents talk to the child.” For children aged 6-11, two answers were commonly provided: “One-on-one teaching by a transplant nurse” and “Group classes of children own age by transplantation team.” For children aged 12-17, the most common answer was “One-on-one teaching by transplant nurse.” As such, the child’s age greatly influenced their answers, an understandable and expected finding. However, it is important to consider that chronically-ill children who have had frequent healthcare experiences are likely to have different learning needs and abilities as compared to well children their own age, and so research is needed now to determine if conventional views about the way to teach them (and particularly those under the age of 6) are correct.