Knowledge, attitudes, practice and behaviour of nurses caring for HIV/AIDS patients at public hospitals in the Tshwane Metropolitan area
Thesis (MPhil (Industrial Psychology. Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study was conducted with the aim to establish how knowledge, attitudes, practice and behaviour influence nurses’ care for HIV/AIDS patients in public hospitals in the Tshwane Metropolitan area. This knowledge is necessary in order to provide suggestions to empower and upskill nurses to enable them and the relevant hospitals to take care of HIV/AIDS patients effectively and efficiently in the Tshwane Metropolitan area in particular, and in South Africa in general. This study was motivated or informed by the fact that in South Africa a great majority of people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) are treated in state hospitals (Shisana et al, 2005) as quoted by Dijkstra, et al (2007) where they are cared for by nurses, doctors and other health professionals. Moreover to date little is known about the practical use that medical staff make of the HIV/AIDS policy in state hospitals in South Africa, as well as their knowledge on HIV/AIDS, and relevant attitudes, practice and behaviour in general. The research question was to establish or determine to what extent the nurses’ knowledge, attitudes, practice and behaviour influence their care for HIV/AIDS patients at public hospitals in the Tshwane Metropolitan area. To confirm or reject our assumptions relating to nurses’ knowledge, attitudes, practice and behaviour, 83 male and females nurses, selected by means of census sampling from Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Dr George Mukari Hospital and Kalafong Hospital (all these hospitals are in the Tshwane Metropolitan Area), were asked to answer a questionnaire based on the variables of knowledge, attitudes, practice and behaviour. The results of this study indicate that the majority of the nurses in the targeted hospitals are more experienced in caring for HIV/AIDS patients because they have been caring and treating HIV/AIDS patients for more than four years. They are aware of HIV/AIDS’ existence, its transmission and prevention. The level of understanding of the content of the different training sessions on various aspects of HIV/AIDS care and management for those who attended in-service training sessions organised to prepare them for their job, appeared to be adequate and extensive. And as a result, they possess some in-depth knowledge about HIV/AIDS. They are happy because they are content with their jobs, as well as caring and treating HIV/AIDS patients. Most of them have very positive outlooks and because of this, they behave positively towards HIV/AIDS patients. Moreover, because of being aware of the risk involved in their job, as well as its implications, they practice universal precautions when caring for and treating their patients. They also enjoy support from their families and are not afraid of contracting HIV while carrying out their tasks. However, there are still nurses in the targeted hospitals unaware or in denial of HIV/AIDS’ existence, ignorant of its transmission, or prevention, who believe certain myths and hold misconceptions on HIV/AIDS. Given the fact the majority of nurses at the targeted hospitals did not attend any in-service training sessions regarding the various aspects of HIV/AIDS care and management to prepare them for their job and responsibilities, they lack in-depth knowledge on HIV/AIDS, and are not practicing universal precautions when caring and treating their patients. Also possibly because the majority of these nurses are aged forty and older and hold only nursing certificates – even those who have attended some of the inservice training sessions – their level of understanding of the content of the training remains inadequate. These nurses are also not aware of the main mode of transmission of their patients. Because they are not satisfied with their job, are unhappy and hold negative attitudes their treatment of HIV/AIDS patients under their care is not up to standard. Thus, nurses at the targeted hospitals with adequate and extensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS, who have positive attitudes resulting in similar behaviour, and who are contented and happy in the practice of their job, are more willing to care and treat the HIV/AIDS patients. This is in contrast to those without knowledge (or with insufficient knowledge) of HIV/AIDS, whose attitudes and behaviour are negative and who are dissatisfied with and unhappy in their jobs.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van die studie was om die kennis, houdings en gedrag van verpleegsters wat MIV/Vigs pasiente behandel in die Tswane Metropool te ondersoek. Na ‘n deeglike literatuurondersoek is ‘n vraelys ontwikkel om die kennis, houdings enpraktyke van vepleegsters te beoordeel. Die vraelys is afgeneem by 83 manlike en vroulike verpleegters van die Steve Biko Akademiese Hospitaal, die Dr. George Mukari Hospitaal en die Kalefong Hospitaal afgeneem. Resultate van die studie toon dat die oorgrote meerderheid van die verpleegsters besonder bekwaam was in die versorging van MIV/Vigs pasiente. Daar is egter ook areas gevind waar verpeegsters nie aan die vereistes voldoen het nie en stappe ter verbetering van die situasie word in die werkstuk voorgestel.