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Nursing home employee attitudes towards AIDS

Nursing home employee attitudes towards AIDS

Health Values 13(2): 11-16

This article examines nursing home employee attitudes toward issues related to AIDS and is based on data collected from 343 employees from 13 nursing homes in rural, small towns in sourthern Illinois during the spring of 1988. Results suggested that a large majority of the employees had negative attitudes toward people with AIDS. For example, 67% of the sample indicated that it was more important to limit the spread of AIDS rather than to protect the rights of people with AIDS. Furthermore, 42% suggested that AIDS patients should be sent to sanitariums to protect others from AIDS. Greater than half of the sample (56%) responded that they would feel uncomfortable around people with AIDS. About one third (32%) felt that being around someone with AIDS would put their health in danger, and 21% would be afraid to even take care of a family member with AIDS. With regard to job-specific AIDS attitudes, 51% indicated that health-care workers should be able to refuse to work with AIDS patients, and another 46% felt that hospitals and nursing homes should be able to refuse to admit people with AIDS. In addition to these and other results, this article presents a brief discussion concerning possible educational strategies which might be implemented in this setting to reduce the negative attitudes of these employees. Considerations are also presented for nursing home administrators, who face the problem of developing effective policies for dealing with the rising number of AIDS patients who will be admitted to their facilities.

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Accession: 046836078

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PMID: 10292140

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