Date of Award

1992

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Department

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Mary Horan

Second Advisor

Patricia Underwood

Third Advisor

William Bell

Abstract

Reports have indicated that nurses have negative and preconceived attitudes concerning persons with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and that these biases may interfere with quality care. The purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to identify the relationship between nurses' knowledge about AIDS and their attitudes toward caring for patients who are diagnosed with AIDS and/or who test positive for HIV. Data was gathered by questionnaires from a convenient sample of nurses employed at an area hospital in West Michigan. Of the 500 nurses who received the questionnaire, 208 (41.6%) participated in the study. Knowledge about AIDS was correlated with four attitude indices (fears and concerns, care of person with AIDS, care of the terminally ill, and homosexuality).; Findings from this study indicated that there were significant relationships between knowledge and fears and concerns and between knowledge and attitudes toward the care of the terminally ill. Although the relationship was weak, subjects with high levels of knowledge experienced low levels of fears and concerns and had more positive attitudes toward caring for the terminally ill patient.

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