Knowledge Risk Perceptions and Attitudes of Nurses Towards HIV in a Tertiary Care Hospital in Mangalore, India 982-986
Dr. Soundarya Mahalingam
Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics,
Kasturba Medical College,Attavar, Mangalore, India.
Introduction: Infectious diseases like HIV are on the rise in developing countries like India, which puts a heavy burden on the health care needs. Nurses have a key role and they spend considerable time taking care of the HIV positive patients who are admitted to hospitals. Hence, a study was conducted in our hospital to have an insight into the knowledge of nurses about HIV, their apprehensions while taking care of such patients and their attitudes and willingness to take care of them.
Methods: This was a cross sectional study which was done among 200 nurses of KMC Hospital, Mangalore. They were given a validated questionnaire which comprised of 67 items which included the knowledge on the spread of HIV, universal precautions, risk perceptions and their attitudes towards the HIV positive patients. Their responses were analyzed by using the SPSS software.
Results: Of the 200 nurses who were selected, 152 completed the questionnaire. Regarding the knowledge of the HIV transmission, the correct response for the widely advertised modes of transmission were higher-sexual contact (97.4%) and vertical transmission (88.8%). However, 11.2% did not know about the mother to child transmission and 28.9% did not know about the transmission through breast feeding. 90.1% felt that HIV could be transmitted by the sharing of plates and 83.6% felt that it could be transmitted through mosquito bites. 93.4% knew about the universal precautions and 78.3% routinely practised it. 80.3% were aware of the post exposure prophylaxis.79.2% described that caring for the HIV positives was rewarding, 86.5% were willing to assist in the operations on HIV patients and 84.9% were willing conduct deliveries. 13.4% felt they had a right to refuse care for the HIV patients and 97% felt that the surgical patients needed to be routinely tested for HIV.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated that there were deficiencies in the knowledge about HIV and that false beliefs existed among the nurses about the spread of HIV. There is a need to improve the awareness about HIV and HIV patient care through training programmes to clear the misconceptions among the nurses so that the HIV positive patients are not discriminated against and are treated without discrimination.