Impact of an Education Intervention on Nurses’
Knowledge of & Attitudes Towards HIV
Willingness to Take Care of HIV-Positive People in Lithuania
Acta Universitatis Tamperensis, No. 1570
By Vida Mockiene
Tampere University Press
Distributed by Coronet Books
$77.50 Paper Original
The overall goal of the study was to identify the areas which need to be improved in order to develop the quality of nurse education related to HIV infection and HIV-positive people. The hypothesis for the study was as follows: education intervention increases nurses' knowledge level, their positive attitudes, and their willingness to care for HIV-positive people or those with AIDS.
The study was conducted in three phases during the period of 2006 to 2010. First, an international descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted with a sample of registered nurses in Finland (n=322), Estonia (n=191), and Lithuania (n=168) (the total n=681). Second, a descriptive literature review related to nurses’ education interventions based on 16 articles was performed. Third, a randomized control trial (RCT) with two experimental groups and one control group was done in Lithuania. The baseline data consisted of 206, and the follow-up data of 185 participants.
The international cross-sectional survey revealed that there were some differences in the knowledge, attitudes, and willingness to care for people living with HIV or AIDS (PLWHA) between Finland, Estonia and Lithuania, with Lithuanian nurses showing the lowest knowledge level and less positive attitudes compared to the others. The literature review did not allow draw the conclusions as to what type of education intervention would be best to have a beneficial impact on nurses’ HIV and AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and willingness to care of HIV-positive people. However, it is clear that different teaching methods in nurses’ supplementary education should be combined.
Based on the randomized controlled trial (RCT), a two-day education intervention, combined with written materials, increased the nurses' knowledge level and positive attitudes, thus confirming a hypothesis. Contrary to expectations, it did not increase the nurses’ willingness to care for HIV-positive people or those with AIDS. The distribution of written materials alone did not improve the nurses’ knowledge level, their positive attitudes towards people with HIV, and their willingness to provide care for them.
In order to improve nurses’ HIV and AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and willingness to care for HIV-positive patients in an effective way, several educational methods should be combined. The using of written materials alone in continuing education is undoubtedly cheaper, but it is insufficient to achieve a positive effect on nurses’ knowledge level in the present context.
The study produced information on the areas which need to be improved in order to develop the quality of nurse education related to HIV and HIV-positive people. it demonstrated changes in nurses’ knowledge, attitudes, and willingness to take care of HIV-positive patients. The knowledge can be used to offer better preventive care services and health care for HIV-positive patients. The study offers implications for different fields including nursing practice, education, clinical research, and nursing science.
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