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Keywords:

  • Attitudes;
  • HIV/AIDS;
  • Job Satisfaction;
  • Nursing;
  • Russia

Background

Previous studies internationally have highlighted that working with people living with HIV/AIDS may lead to nurses' stress and burnout. However, this topic has not been well explored in Russia, a country with an exponential growth in HIV/AIDS.

Aim

This study focused on nurses' job satisfaction and their attitudes towards people living with HIV/AIDS in centres where nurses regularly treat such patients, and in a general hospital where nurses rarely treat such patients.

Method

We distributed three self-report questionnaires: demographics, job satisfaction and attitudes towards people living with HIV/AIDS to nurses working in six HIV/AIDS centres and the largest general hospital in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Sixty-nine nurses from the HIV/AIDS centres and 66 from the general hospital (about 90% of those approached) completed these.

Results

Nurses who regularly treated people with HIV/AIDS were significantly younger and a greater number held master degrees than those who rarely treated such patients. No significant differences between the two settings emerged for job satisfaction but what did emerge were differences in nurses' attitudes: nurses in HIV/AIDS centres reported less avoidance than nurses in the general hospital. Regarding empathetic attitudes, no significant differences emerged, but empathetic attitudes contributed to the explained variance of job satisfaction.

Conclusion

Although our sample was small, the associations found between avoidant attitudes and job satisfaction highlight the need for stigma-reduction strategies and increased disease knowledge. Healthcare managers should consider attitudes towards people living with HIV/AIDS as an important factor in ensuring adequate care for them and initiate education programmes for nurses, especially programmes dealing with HIV/AIDS in general hospitals.

Implications for nursing and health policy

Support and supervision can be used as a strategy, for empowering nurses to meet the challenges of working with HIV/AIDS patients.