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Barriers towards deceased organ donation among Indians living globally: an integrative systematic review using narrative synthesis.

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Britzer Vincent Paul RajORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Objectives To understand the barriers towards deceased organ donation among Indians living globally. Design Integrative systematic review using narrative synthesis. Data sources CINAHL, Medline full-text, PsycInfo, Scopus, Global Health, Web of Science, and PubMed Central, Indian Journal of Transplantation and Google Scholar. Time period 1 January 1994 to 31 December 2021. Participants Individuals of Indian origin living globally. Results Eighty-nine studies were included with more than 29 000 participants and quality of the studies were assessed using Joanna Briggs Institute’s critical appraisal tool. Though majority of the participants had knowledge toward organ donation with a positive influence on willingness, the gap between knowledge and willingness was huge, with minimal registration influenced by the complex sociocultural constructs. Various sociocultural constructs such as family, fear and mistrust, religion, and bodily issues play a vital role. Differences were identified in willingness to donate and register between southern and other regions of India. Indian’s organ donation behaviour in other geographical locations differed based on the socioreligious background of the country they lived in such as in Malaysia, Canada and the UK. However, they were collective in decision-making and had complex sociocultural interference irrespective of the country the individual lived which differed only in their next generations. Conclusion Though this study showed the complex relationship, and its influences on organ donation behaviour, lacunae were identified to further understand how such complex interactions determine or inform the behaviour. Also, methodological issues were identified, where this particular population outside India were collectively studied with their neighbouring population which are not homogenous. Studies in India majorly addressed a similar aim using similar methods which produced repetition of studies leading to lack of diversified, wider and in-depth research. Therefore, while this systematic review addressed the barriers toward organ donation among Indians living globally, it also informs various gaps in research and also methodological issues. PROSPERO registration number CRD42019155274

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vincent BP, Randhawa G, Cook E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Open

Year: 2022

Volume: 12

Issue: 5

Print publication date: 01/05/2022

Online publication date: 27/05/2022

Acceptance date: 08/05/2022

Date deposited: 07/07/2023

ISSN (electronic): 2044-6055

Publisher: BMJ Group


DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-056094


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Funder referenceFunder name
Global Challenges Research Fund