Assessment of barriers to bone marrow donation by unrelated African-American potential donors

Joseph H. Laver, Thomas C. Hulsey, Jacquetta P. Jones, Michael Gautreaux, Julio C. Barredo, Miguel R. Abboud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


African Americans have a lower registration rate for becoming potential bone marrow and stem cell donors. The same attitudes and behaviors are exhibited in regard to solid organ and blood donations, causing a serious under-representation of the African-American population in the donor pool. In our efforts to increase donor availability for African Americans through a project funded by the Medical University of South Carolina, we used a survey to determine the reasons African Americans do not participate as donors for bone marrow. We surveyed 589 African Americans, a great majority of whom were women. Our survey identified major barriers to donation to be the lack of awareness that transplantation can save lives, the cost of donation, and the lack of opportunities to donate. The most effective interventions in increasing donation have been to provide both educational programs preceding marrow drives and the opportunity to donate. Through these efforts, the number of potential African-American donors has increased from 768 (accrued over a period of 12 years) to 1977 in less than 2 years. We conclude that a minority recruitment program targeting African-American volunteers for the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) should include an education component addressing the most common barriers before drives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-48
Number of pages4
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • African American
  • Bone marrow donation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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