Nurses' Knowledge and Attitudes
From a social
perspective, AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) revives
longstanding issues about the relationships between health
care professionals and their patients. A particular issue is
the willingness of physicians and nurses to treat people with
a contagious, fatal, and stigmatized disease.
Colombotos, J., Messeri,
P., McConnell, M.B., et al.: Physicians, Nurses, and AIDS:
Findings From a National Study. Grant No. 5 R01 HS06359.
This report presents
responses to AIDS-related questions from a national sample of
958 physicians and 1,520 registered nurses in 1990-91.
Questions included willingness to treat AIDS patients and
whether they believe that they were professionally obligated
and should be legally required to do so, attitudes toward
homosexual men and intravenous drug users, knowledge about HIV
(human immunodeficiency virus) transmission, perceptions of
the risk of HIV contagion, precautionary practices, trust in
HIV authorities, career plans, and attitudes toward mandatory
testing and mandatory reporting. Physicians' and nurses'
responses were compared nationally. Comparisons were also made
based on the AIDS prevalence in different parts of the
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