Aim. This paper reports a study examining the effect of a multifaceted HIV/AIDS educational intervention on the knowledge, attitudes and willingness of Chinese nurses in caring for patients with human immunodeficiency virus.
Background. The expanding HIV/AIDS epidemic challenges nurses to increase their knowledge about this devastating illness to provide effective HIV/AIDS prevention and care to their patients. HIV/AIDS educational interventions, which were developed for North American and European nurses, have not been studied among nurses in other societies.
Methods. The study employed a pretest, post-test experimental design with 208 nurses from seven Chinese provinces. The intervention consisted of a 5-day workshop comprising didactic lectures interspersed with activities designed to elicit discussion of participants’ values and personal feelings about HIV/AIDS. Bloom's Taxonomy and principles of good HIV/AIDS educational practice guided the educational intervention. Outcome variables were HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitude toward patients with HIV/AIDS (including empathy for and desire to avoid these patients) and willingness to provide nursing care to these patients. The data were collected in 2003.
Findings. At baseline, HIV/AIDS knowledge was not high and attitudes and willingness to care were neutral. Knowledge, attitudes toward patients with HIV/AIDS and willingness to provide nursing care to these patients were each improved at the conclusion of the workshop (P < 0·001).
Conclusions. As the HIV/AIDS epidemic expands, nurses will be called upon to deliver competent, compassionate and comprehensive care to patients and their significant others. Intensive, interactive HIV/AIDS professional workshops can contribute to the national effort by increasing knowledge and improving attitudes towards and willingness to provide nursing care for patients with HIV/AIDS.