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In search of stool donors: a multicenter study of prior knowledge, perceptions, motivators, and deterrents among potential donors for fecal microbiota transplantation

McSweeney, Breanna; Allegretti, Jessica R.; Fischer, Monika; Xu, Huiping; Goodman, Karen J.; Monaghan, Tanya; McLeod, Carmen; Mullish, Benjamin H.; Petrof, Elaine O.; Phelps, Emmalee L.; Chis, Roxana; Edminson, Abby; Juby, Angela; Ennis-Davis, Ralph; Roach, Brandi; Wong, Karen; Kao, Dina


Breanna McSweeney

Jessica R. Allegretti

Monika Fischer

Huiping Xu

Karen J. Goodman

Clinical Associate Professor in Luminal Gastroenterology

Carmen McLeod

Benjamin H. Mullish

Elaine O. Petrof

Emmalee L. Phelps

Roxana Chis

Abby Edminson

Angela Juby

Ralph Ennis-Davis

Brandi Roach

Karen Wong

Dina Kao


Introduction: Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a highly effective therapy for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. Stool donors are essential, but difficult to recruit and retain. We identified factors influencing willingness to donate stool.
Methods: A 32-item questionnaire targeted young adults and health care workers via social media and university email lists in Edmonton and Kingston, Canada; London and Nottingham, England; and Indianapolis and Boston, USA. Items included baseline demographics and FMT knowledge and perception. Investigated motivators and deterrents included economic compensation, screening process, time commitment, and stool donation logistics. Logistic regression and linear regression models estimated associations of study variables with self-assessed willingness to donate stool.
Results: 802 respondents completed our questionnaire: 387 (48.3%) age 21–30 years, 573 (71.4%) female, 323 (40%) health care workers. Country of residence, age and occupation were not associated with willingness to donate stool. Factors increasing willingness to donate were: already a blood donor (OR 1.64), male, altruism, economic benefit, knowledge of how FMT can help patients (OR 1.32), and positive attitudes towards FMT (OR 1.39). Factors decreasing willingness to donate were: stool collection unpleasant (OR 0.92), screening process invasive (OR 0.92), higher donation frequency, negative social perceptions of stool, and logistics of collecting/transporting feces.
Discussion: Blood donors and males are more willing to consider stool donation. Altruism, economic compensation, and positive feedback are motivators. Screening process, high donation frequency, logistics of collecting/transporting feces, lack of public awareness, and negative social perception are deterrents. Considering these variables could maximize donor recruitment and retention.


McSweeney, B., Allegretti, J. R., Fischer, M., Xu, H., Goodman, K. J., Monaghan, T., …Kao, D. (2020). In search of stool donors: a multicenter study of prior knowledge, perceptions, motivators, and deterrents among potential donors for fecal microbiota transplantation. Gut Microbes, 11(1), 51-62.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 18, 2019
Online Publication Date May 23, 2019
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date Apr 24, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 3, 2019
Journal Gut Microbes
Print ISSN 1949-0976
Electronic ISSN 1949-0984
Publisher Taylor & Francis Open
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 51-62
Keywords fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT); Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI); recurrent Clostridioes difficile infection (RCDI); fecal transplant donors; stool donors
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