Objective: To determine what factors acting in close temporal proximity to the day of a university campus blood drive are associated with university student blood donation.
Methods: An incidence density case-control study was conducted at St George’s University, Grenada, West Indies. Cases (69) were students interviewed while donating blood at blood drives (February to April 2010). Controls (437) were non-donating students interviewed on the same days as cases. Exposures of interest were: sources of knowledge of the blood drive, the presence or lack of academic deadlines within a week of the blood drive, and the number of hours of classes on the day of the blood drive. Data were analysed using logistic regression with adjusted odds ratios approximating risk ratios (RRs).
Results: Associations with blood donation were higher for electronic and/or personal (RREmail = 5.1; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.7, 9.6; RRFacebook = 4.3; 95% CI: 2.1, 9.0; RRPersonalReminder = 2.9; 95% CI: 1.6, 5.4) than for impersonal RRClassAnnouncement = 2.4; 95% CI: 1.3, 4.8) sources of knowledge of the blood drive. Additionally, students with classes only in the morning (RRAMonly = 1.5; 95% CI: 0.7, 2.9) or only in the afternoon (RRPMonly = 1.9; 95% CI: 1.2, 3.2) and those with no academic deadlines within a week of the blood drive were more likely to donate blood.
Conclusion: University student blood donation showed a stronger association with personal and/or electronic advertising than with impersonal and/or non-electronic advertising. University blood drives should target students with similar timetables at times of reduced academic stress using personal and electronic modes of advertising.