Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-018-2855-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Anna Sallis and Hugo Harper contributed equally to this work.
A shortage of organs available for transplantation is causing loss of life. Increasing the number of individuals on the National Health Service (NHS) Organ Donor Register (ODR) is one way to address the shortage of organs. In Great Britain, new drivers registering for their driving licence are invited to join the ODR. A further 17 million drivers renew their road tax online each year, presenting an additional opportunity to prompt drivers to join the ODR. This trial explores the effect of adding persuasive messages to a prompt to join the ODR at the end of road tax payment transactions.
Altogether, 1,085,322 website users were included in the study. Further, 1171 more sign-ups were completed under the most effective message (reciprocity) compared to the control prompt alone (reciprocity: n = 4256, control: n = 3085; odds ratio, OR 1.38, 95% confidence interval 1.32–1.45, p < 0.001). The loss-framed message was as effective. All messages increased sign-ups compared to the control prompt apart from the social norms message plus image (n = 2879; OR 0.94, 95% confidence interval 0.89–0.99, p < 0.05).
Short persuasive messages alongside a prompt can persuade more ODR sign-ups for individuals renewing their road tax than a prompt alone. The most effective message remains in place today. Since the trial in 2013, the same message has been implemented across 25 government end-of-transaction websites on GOV.UK, resulting in 529,000 new registrations to the ODR up to 31st October 2017.