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Objectives: To attain more local corneal donations, awareness of corneal donations must be raised among doctors and medical students. This study aimed to evaluate the knowledge and attitude of medical students regarding corneal donations. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among male fifth- and final-year medical students at the College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Saudi Arabia, between August and October 2019. Non-probability convenience sampling was used and an English-language self-administered questionnaire was administered to evaluate different aspects of the participants’ knowledge regarding and attitudes towards corneal donation. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, and independent samples t-test. Results: A total of 141 students participated in this study (response rate: 53%). A mean score of 3.24 ± 1.86 was achieved by the participants on the knowledge test. Approximately 47% of the sample correctly recognised that people who die of AIDS cannot donate an eye. The most common reason for eye donations was to provide vision to a blind person (47%), while a lack of understanding of benefits to others (55%) and religious beliefs (44%) were seen barriers. The internet was identified by 56% as the most common source of information. There was no significant difference in the knowledge of fifth-year and final-year medical students (3.31 ± 1.84 versus 3.17 ± 1.89; P = 0.65). Conclusion: This study showed a low level of knowledge of corneal donations among the participants. Raising awareness among medical students is important to increase donation rates. However, media and the internet are not enough to achieve this. Basic knowledge of corneal donations to students by organising awareness-raising activities and motivating them for voluntary participation is important to fill this knowledge gap.
Keywords: Knowledge; Attitude; Cornea; Medical Students; Saudi Arabia.
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