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Introduction: In Saudi Arabia, voluntary donors are the only source of blood donation. The aim of this study was to assess the level of public knowledge and attitude toward blood donation in Saudi Arabia.
Methods: Using a previously validated questionnaire that comprises 38 questions to assess the levels of knowledge, attitudes, and motivations towards blood donation, 469 Saudi adults who attended different shopping malls in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia were surveyed. Multiple regression analyses were used to identify the significant predictors of blood donation, with the significance set at P,0.05.
Results: Approximately half of all subjects (53.3%) reported that they had previously donated blood, 39% of whom had donated more than once. The knowledge percentage mean score was 58.07%, denoting a poor level of knowledge, with only 11.9% reporting a good level of knowledge. The attitude percentage mean score towards donation was 75.45%, reflecting a neutral attitude towards donating blood, with 31.6% reporting a positive attitude. Donation was significantly more prevalent among males than females (66% versus 13.3%; P,0.001). After adjustment for confounders, a higher knowledge score (t=2.59; P=0.01), a higher attitude score (t=3.26; P=0.001), and male sex (t=10.45; P,0.001) were significant predictors of blood donation. An inability to reach the blood donation centers and a fear of anemia were the main reasons for females not donating blood (49.9% and 35.7%, respectively), whereas a lack of time was the main reason for males (59.5%).
Conclusion: Prevalence of blood donation was less than satisfactory among the Saudi public, probably due to misconceptions, poor knowledge, and unfavorable attitude to donation. Educational programs are necessary to increase the level of knowledge and improve the attitude of the Saudi public toward blood donation. Providing mobile blood collection units nearer to individuals’ places of work to reduce their time costs of donating is a necessity.