Donor behaviour

Members of our Donor behaviour research team investigate ways to recruit, motivate and retain donors.

Research leaders

A/Prof Tanya Davison
Prof Barbara Masser
Dr Rachel Thorpe
Dr Luke Gahan
Carley Gemelli
Dr Nicky Guerin

Current projects

How do donors feel throughout their donation?
Do you feel anxious before your donation? Proud afterwards? How you feel before, during and after your blood donation may affect whether you want to come back again. Through this study, we will gain a better understanding of how our donors feel throughout the process of their blood donation and how we can support their emotional wellbeing.

Calling young males!
For a number of reasons related to patient safety, we need more male donors than females, yet females are more inclined to become donors. Young males do not respond well to traditional recruitment methods, so this project will develop and test novel strategies to recruit more males to our donor panel.

Helping donors make informed choices
Lifeblood is experiencing an increase in demand for plasma and plasma products, and seeking to increase the number of donors who make plasma donations. This project will develop and test written materials to present the correct level of information about plasma donation to increase awareness about plasma or platelet donation among new blood donors.

Bringing back lapsed donors
Some people donate blood regularly, and then stop suddenly for some reason (such as moving or having children). Previous studies at Lifeblood have shown that it is easier to motivate these donors to start donating again than to recruit new donors. The study will particularly focus on three groups: donors who have experienced a temporary deferral, O negative donors and plasmapheresis donors. Researchers will interview lapsed donors and staff to help us understand why people stop donating blood, and how we can encourage them to return.

Targeting retention of first time O-negative donors
In Australia, around a third of first time blood donors never return. Why do they decide not to come back? This project tests an online psychological intervention designed to encourage new donors to come back to give a second donation. The intervention was developed by Professor Christopher France at the University of Ohio. It will be trialled with Australian O-Negative donors: a critical group who can donate blood to patients of any blood type. Increasing the proportion of first-time donors who continue donating will ensure a sustainable blood supply for the future.

Selected recent publications

Gemelli CN, Hayman J, Waller D (2016) Frequent whole blood donors: understanding this population and predictors of lapse. Transfusion doi:10.1111/trf.13874

Bagot KL, Bove LL, Masser BM, Bednall TC, Buzza M (2013) Perceived deterrents to being a plasmapheresis donor in a voluntary, nonremunerated environment. Transfusion 53(5):1108-19 doi:10.1111/j.1537-2995.2012.03891.x

Masser BM, Davison TE, Chapman CM (2016) How can we encourage our voluntary non-remunerated donors to donate more frequently? ISBT Science Series:n/a-n/a doi:10.1111/voxs.12312

Masser B, France CR, Foot J, et al. (2016) Improving first-time donor attendance rates through the use of enhanced donor preparation materials. Transfusion 56(6 Pt 2):1628-35 doi:10.1111/trf.13496

Bagot KL, Masser BM, White KM (2015) Using an Extended Theory of Planned Behavior to Predict a Change in the Type of Blood Product Donated. Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine 49(4):510-21 doi:10.1007/s12160-014-9677-9

Masser BM, France CR, Himawan LK, Hyde MK, Smith G (2016) The impact of the context and recruitment materials on nondonors' willingness to donate blood. Transfusion 56(12):2995-3003 doi:10.1111/trf.13805

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