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Motivators and deterrents to blood donation among Black South Africans: a qualitative analysis of focus group data


Background and objectives

South Africa has a markedly skewed representation where the majority of blood (62%) is presently collected from an ethnically White minority. This study seeks to identify culturally specific factors affecting motivation of donors in South Africa.

Materials and methods

We performed a qualitative study to evaluate motivators and deterrents to blood donation among Black South Africans. A total of 13 focus groups, comprising a total of 97 Black South Africans, stratified by age and geographic location were conducted. Transcripts of the interviews were analysed using a coding framework by Bednall & Bove.


Participants made 463 unique comments about motivators focusing primarily on promotional communications (28%), incentives (20%) and prosocial motivation (16%). Participants made 376 comments about deterrents which focused primarily on fear (41%), negative attitudes (14%) and lack of knowledge (10%).


Although prosocial motivation (altruism) was the most frequently mentioned individual motivator, promotional communication elicited more overall comments by participants. As reported by many authors, fear and lack of awareness were strong deterrents, but scepticism engendered by perceived racial discrimination in blood collection were unique to the South African environment.

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