Background: Targeting young people to donate blood is a particularly promising option. The aim of this work was to know the motivators, barriers and preferred communication channels for blood donation among university students, and to determine the factors that explain why donors give blood.
Materials and methods: A questionnaire was distributed to 420 students (response rate: 88.3 %) attending the University of Huelva (Spain). Data were gathered on sociodemographic variables, blood donation history, motivators and barriers to donation, and communication channels. Non-parametric contrasts were used to determine possible differences in the sociodemographic characteristics or donation history, and logistic regression to determine the factors associated to donation.
Results: 67.38 % of the students surveyed were non-donors, 12.94 % were first-time donors, 11.05 % were infrequent donors and 8.63 % were frequent donors. "Solidarity" was the main motivator for donating blood (40 %). "Lack of information on where and how to give blood" was the main barrier for non-donors (26.4 %), with "medical reasons" cited by first-time donors (22.2 %). 93.8 % of donors wished to be notified about their next donation appointment. The majority of those surveyed preferred e-mail to receive alerts and information on donation campaigns. The factors that explained blood donation were over 26 years of age and place of residence.
Conclusion: The study identified differences in the motivators, barriers and choice of communication channel among the university students in terms of blood donation, and the factors that explain blood donation. This knowledge is a useful source of information when designing blood donation campaigns that target young people