Publications & Reports

A Systematic Review of Interventions Used to Increase Blood Donor Compliance with Deferral Criteria.

Cutts JC, Quinn B, Seed CR, Kotsiou G, Pearson R, Scott N, Wilson DP, Harrod ME, Maher L, Caris S, Thompson AJ, Farrell M, Pink J, Hellard ME
Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Background and Objectives: Pre-donation screening of potential blood donors is critical for ensuring the safety of the donor blood supply, and donor deferral as a result of risk factors is practised worldwide. This systematic review was conducted in the context of an expert review convened by the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood in 2013 to consider Lifeblood’s injecting drug use (IDU)-related policies and aimed to identify studies assessing interventions to improve compliance with deferral criteria in blood donation settings. Materials and Methods: MEDLINE/PubMed, OVID Medline, OVID Embase, LILACS, and the Cochrane Library (CENTRAL and DARE) databases were searched for studies conducted within blood donation settings that examined interventions to increase blood donor compliance with deferral criteria. Observational and experimental studies from all geographical areas were considered. Results: Ten studies were identified that tested at least one intervention to improve blood donor compliance with deferral criteria, including computerized interviews or questionnaires, direct and indirect oral questioning, educational materials, and a combination of a tickbox questionnaire and a personal donor interview. High-quality evidence from a single study was provided for the effectiveness of a computerized interview in improving detection of HIV risk behaviour. Low-quality evidence for the effectiveness of computerized interviews was provided by 3 additional studies. Two studies reported a moderate effect of direct questioning in increasing donor deferral, but the quality of the evidence was low. Conclusion: This review identified several interventions to improve donor compliance that have been tested in blood donation settings and provided evidence for the effectiveness of computerized interviews in improving detection of risk factors.

Link to publisher’s web site

This work was funded by the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood and conducted at the Burnet Institute, Melbourne. The Australian government funds the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood for the provision of blood, blood products, and services to the Australian community. The Burnet Institute receives operational infrastructure support from the Victorian government. Margaret E. Hellard and Lisa Maher receive support from the NHMRC as Research Fellows.


  • Journal: Transfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy
  • Published: 01/03/2021
  • Volume: 48
  • Issue: 2
  • Pagination: 118-129