Comparison of registered nurses' and nursing students' tolerance towards Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

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Tess, Diana J.
Irvine, Phyllis E.
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Thesis (M.S.)
School of Nursing
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The main purpose of this study was to describe and compare nurses' and nursing students' attitudes toward AIDS patients. A corollary aim was to ascertain whether these two groups of health care providers differed in their perceptions of the quality of care AIDS patients receive compared to other patients. This study also examined nurses across type of educational background (i.e., ADN, BSN, Diploma) in regards to differences in attitudinal tolerance towards AIDS patients as measured by the Aids Attitude Survey (AAS). Fishbein and Ajzen's (1975) Theory of Reasoned Action was the theoretical framework of this study. A convenience sample of 58 registered nurses and 58 nursing students from East Central Indiana completed the AAS and a demographic sheet. The attitudes of these two groups toward AIDS patients were examined in a comparative descriptive design.Cronbach's alpha (1947) equaled .95 for 54 items using 116 valid cases. Findings revealed no significant difference between nurses and nursing students in tolerance of attitudes towards AIDS patients (F = .0966, df - 1,114, p < .76). Also no significant difference was found between nurses and nursing students in their perceptions regarding the quality of care given to AIDS patients versus other patients (X2 = 5.77412, df = 4, p < .22). No significant difference was found between ADN, BSN, and Diploma nurses in their tolerance of attitudes toward AIDS patients (F = 2.0924, df = 2,55, p < .1331). A post hoc finding revealed a significant difference between nurses' and nursing students reported use of universal precautions (x2 = 12.97276, 3 df, p < .00470).Analysis of AAS individual items revealed that only 4 percent of respondents believed that AIDS patients should be sent to sanitariums to protect others from AIDS. Ninety-four percent of respondents believed that people would not be so afraid of AIDS if individuals knew more about the disease.