Examining the Decision to Talk with Family About Organ Donation: Applying the Theory of Motivated Information Management

Walid A. Afifi
Susan E. Morgan
Michael T. Stephenson
Chris Morse
Tyler Harrison
Tom Reichert
Shawn D. Long

Document Type Article

Published in Communication Monographs, volume 73 issue 2, 2006. Bryant users may access this article here.


Research on organ donation suggests a strong association between family discussions about the issue and final organ donor status. However, very few studies have examined the factors that influence individuals’ willingness to talk directly to their family about this topic or the impact of these discussions. This investigation provides a partial test of a newly developed theory of information management to better understand the processes of family discussions about organ donation. Results from two studies generally support the utility of the theory in this context, suggest ways in which organ donation campaigns may improve their effectiveness, and recommend future directions for researchers in this area. Moreover, the data show differences across ethnic groups that support and extend past work in this area.