Organ donation and transplant is still an evolving field in Qatar. In Qatar, a qualitative study to understand the perspective of the healthcare workers, towards barriers, promoters and system level challenges in organ donation and transplant was lacking. Hence, very limited literature is available on these issues as are experienced by healthcare workers actually involved in the various stages of this process.


The objective of the present study was to conduct a qualitative study using phenomenological approach, with the help of focus group discussions to explore (1) Transplant system level issues; and, (2) To understand why people choose to or not to register as organ donors.


Several key stakeholders in the healthcare sector were included in the discussions. Participants were healthcare professionals (a) who are involved in organ donation and transplant activities (coordinators, surgeons, physicians), and (b) healthcare professionals involved in organ donation promotion campaigns in Qatar.

An experienced moderator from the research team was employed to conduct the discussion and the trained research assistants collected the data. The audio recordings were transcribed by professional transcribers, coded using NVivo software, analyzed in the light of Theory of Planned Behavior and researches in the similar field, and peer reviewed to derive a conclusion.


The study was able to uncover several gaps in the system that are impacting the consent process and leading to under-utilization and wastage of available organs. Some key system level issues identified during the discussions were communication gap between transplant committee and some of the departments doing transplants, absence of multidisciplinary teams for organ assessment and participating through various stages of transplant process, difficulties arising because of lack of centralized centers for organ donation and transplant where all formalities could be carried out from start till the end and training deficiency reported by campaign volunteers as well as coordinators besides others. Besides this, the study was able to enlist the difficulties faced by the healthcare workers working in field of donor registrations and transplant. The study also brought out volunteers' views based on their direct interaction with public, on why people choose to or not to register during the organ donation campaigns in Qatar. Finally, the study identified some concerns in the process of organ donation and transplant where formulating new policies and protocols or amending existing ones, could affect the efficiency positively.


The study concludes that most challenges in organ donation and transplant in Qatar can be dealt with by focusing on creating awareness and educating people about the various issues related to organ donation through continuous campaigns and extensive media coverage of the issue. Consents, which are the core issue behind the gap between brain death cases culminating into donors, can be improved by ensuring early communication about donation decision by the donor to his/her family. Also, under-utilization and wastage could be reduced by transplant committee representation from relevant departments involved in transplants, and having multidisciplinary teams to assess the deceased donors' organs and work through the entire transplant process. This study can be referred to for further policy making in the area of organ donation and transplant in Qatar and modifying certain aspects of campaigns to make them more effective.


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