The Concept of Stem Cells Transplantation: Identifying the Acceptance and Refusal Rates among Saudi Population | Abstract

International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences (IJMRHS)
ISSN: 2319-5886 Indexed in: ESCI (Thomson Reuters)


The Concept of Stem Cells Transplantation: Identifying the Acceptance and Refusal Rates among Saudi Population

Author(s):Amani A. Alrehaili, Sarah Alshihri, Rahaf Althobaiti, Nojoud Alazizi, Amal F. Gharib, Maha M. Bakhuraysah, Hind A. Alzahrani and Hayaa M. Alhuthali*

Background: Despite the fact Stem Cell-based Therapy (SCT) has attracted increasing attention and shown considerable progress, its clinical application is limited. The major obstacle is finding a matching family donor. In Saudi Arabia, 60% of paediatrics and 30% of adult patients cannot find a matching donor in their family. To our knowledge, little evidence has been published worldwide to assess the general public’s awareness and attitudes regarding SCT. The current study aims to evaluate the public’s knowledge and its acceptance and refusal rate of SCT and stem-cell donation in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to involve the public of Saudi Arabia of both genders. Voluntary questionnaires of 22 multiple-choice questions consisting of demographics, knowledge, and acceptance and refusal rate toward SCT and stem cell donation were distributed randomly. Results: A total of 502 participants completed the questionnaire. Most participants were female ( 94.4% , n=474), between 18 and 26 years of age (65.7%, n=330), and 56.2% (n=283) were at high school level and below. Participants showed low levels of basic knowledge regarding SCT: only 19.5% (n=98) gave the correct answer for stem cell sources, 26.9% (n=135) were aware of SCT centres and 38.2% (n=192) were aware of the possible factors affecting the success of SCT. A low percentage (1.8%) of respondents was registered at the Saudi Stem Cell Donor Registry (SSCDR). The internet and social media were the major sources of knowledge for half the participants. Interestingly, even though some participants expressed concerns, three-quarters of them stated their acceptance towards SCT and donation, especially if there were a need. Conclusion: The public’s lack of knowledge about SCT and its concerns toward stem cell donation contributes to the shortage of donor availability, suggesting a need to increase the level of awareness and motivation. This study highly recommends implementing comprehensive educational campaigns, counselling programs, and clarifying the place and role of SCT centres.

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