Micro-cultural customization of organ donation propagation messages

Anke Dunkel, Kent Nakamoto, Peter J. Schulz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Organ transplantation is plagued by limited availability of organs. This study investigated the effect of messages promoting organ donation which were customized according to the language-defined micro-cultures in Switzerland. Methods: Community-, informative-, and emotional-oriented messages were carried by conventional flyers. A 3 × 3 between-subjects experiment was conducted with short- and long-term willingness to donate, long-term signing of organ donation card and long-term interpersonal communication on organ donation as outcome variables. Results: The culturally customized interventions appeared to have no immediate effect and consequently no differential effect on willingness to donate organs and on signing a donor card. Among the Swiss Germans, of the three messages, the community-oriented one instigated less interpersonal communication. Conclusion: Findings are consistent with a mechanism in which the message does not have an immediate effect on willingness to donate organs but motivates further thought and related behaviors that lead to higher commitment and later increased willingness to donate. Practice implications: Targeting not only the message but also the objective that drives the messages must be considered. Campaigns should include elements that build on the unfolding commitment process to promote the follow-up actions that lead to greater willingness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-829
Number of pages6
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Swiss National Science Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Micro-culture
  • Organ donation
  • Switzerland
  • Targeted communication
  • Transplantation


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