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01.12.2017 | Study protocol | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Trials 1/2017

Promoting deceased organ and tissue donation registration in family physician waiting rooms (RegisterNow-1 trial): study protocol for a pragmatic, stepped-wedge, cluster randomized controlled registry

Trials > Ausgabe 1/2017
Alvin H. Li, Amit X. Garg, Versha Prakash, Jeremy M. Grimshaw, Monica Taljaard, Joanna Mitchell, Danny Matti, Stefanie Linklater, Kyla L. Naylor, Stephanie Dixon, Cathy Faulds, Rachel Bevan, Leah Getchell, Greg Knoll, S. Joseph Kim, Jessica Sontrop, Lise M. Bjerre, Allison Tong, Justin Presseau
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s13063-017-2333-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



There is a worldwide shortage of organs available for transplant, leading to preventable mortality associated with end-stage organ disease. While most citizens in many countries with an intent-to-donate “opt-in” system support organ donation, registration rates remain low. In Canada, most Canadians support organ donation but less than 25% in most provinces have registered their desire to donate their organs when they die. The family physician office is a promising yet underused setting in which to promote organ donor registration and address known barriers and enablers to registering for deceased organ and tissue donation. We developed a protocol to evaluate an intervention to promote registration for organ and tissue donation in family physician waiting rooms.


This protocol describes a planned, stepped-wedge, cluster randomized registry trial in six family physician offices in Ontario, Canada to evaluate the effectiveness of reception staff providing patients with a pamphlet that addresses barriers and enablers to registration including a description of how to register for organ donation. An Internet-enabled tablet will also be provided in waiting rooms so that interested patients can register while waiting for their appointments. Family physicians and reception staff will be provided with training and/or materials to support any conversations about organ donation with their patients. Following a 2-week control period, the six offices will cross sequentially into the intervention arm in randomized sequence at 2-week intervals until all offices deliver the intervention. The primary outcome will be the proportion of patients visiting the office who are registered organ donors 7 days following their office visit. We will evaluate this outcome using routinely collected registry data from provincial administrative databases. A post-trial qualitative evaluation process will assess the experiences of reception staff and family physicians with the intervention and the stepped-wedge trial design.


Promoting registration for organ donation in family physician offices is a potentially useful strategy for increasing registration for organ donation. Increased registration may ultimately help to increase the number of organs available for transplant. The results of this trial will provide important preliminary data on the effectiveness of using family physician offices to promote registration for organ donation.

Trial registration, ID: NCT03213171. Registered on 11 July 2017.
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