AIDS-Related Knowledge, Fear, and Behavioral Change Among Nurses in Taiwan

Authors

  • Janet F. Wang Ph.D., R.N.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Janet Wang and Patricia Simoni are associate professors, School of Nursing, West Virginia University; and John Paterson is with the Department of Educational Psychology, West Virginia University.
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  • Patricia S. Simoni Ed.D., R.N.,

    1. Janet Wang and Patricia Simoni are associate professors, School of Nursing, West Virginia University; and John Paterson is with the Department of Educational Psychology, West Virginia University.
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  • John Paterson Ed.D.

    1. Janet Wang and Patricia Simoni are associate professors, School of Nursing, West Virginia University; and John Paterson is with the Department of Educational Psychology, West Virginia University.
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*Address correspondence to Janet F. Wang, School of Nursing, Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506

Abstract

Abstract Current literature documents a phenomenon of fear that affects the willingness of health care professionals to care for persons with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). We attempted to identify differences between nurses who exhibit fearful attitudes toward AIDS and those who do not, based on knowledge and behavior. Taiwan, site of the study, is only beginning to identify the first of its citizens with AIDS. The subjects were a population of caregivers from a culture with little exposure, therefore, either through education or experience, to the disease and the issues it engenders. A cross-sectional, self-administered survey was conducted in 1990 of 1759 nurses in 12 institutions throughout Taiwan. Data on AIDS-related knowledge, fear, and behavior, as well as selected demographic data, were gathered. Analysis revealed significantly less fear of AIDS among nurses who reported three behavioral changes related to AIDS than among those who reported fewer changed behaviors (F= 4.43, df= 3; P < 0.004); those with higher levels of education (F= 3.54, df= 3; P < 0.014); and those who were single rather than married (t= 2.81; P < 0.005).

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