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Nurse Educ Today. 2014 Jun;34(6):929-33. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2013.10.018. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

Attitudes towards HIV/AIDS patients and empathic tendencies: a study of Turkish undergraduate nursing students.

Author information

1
Istanbul University, Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Istanbul, Turkey. Electronic address: aylin_aktas79@hotmail.com.
2
Istanbul University, Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Istanbul, Turkey. Electronic address: msendir@istanbul.edu.tr.
3
Binghamton University, Decker School of Nursing, Binghamton, NY, United States. Electronic address: atav@binghamton.edu.
4
Gümüşhane University, School of Health, Gümüşhane, Turkey. Electronic address: or-belkis@hotmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Studies indicate that the attitudes of nurses, nursing students, and other health care professionals towards Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) patients are affected by cultural differences and the fear of HIV/AIDS infection, resulting in both negative attitudes and reluctance to care for these patients. Empathy is critical for all health professionals in the delivery of effective care. Research indicates that as empathic tendencies develop, so do better communication skills, better attitudes, and better quality of care.

OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among demographic factors, familiarity with HIV/AIDS, attitudes towards HIV/AIDS, and empathic tendencies in a Turkish sample of nursing students.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

Using a non-experimental, correlational design, data on demographics, HIV/AIDS Attitude Scale (AAS) and the Scale of Empathic Tendency (SET) were collected.

PARTICIPANTS:

The study sample consisted of 614 undergraduate nursing students in two universities located in different geographic regions of Turkey.

RESULTS:

The results of this study indicated that attitudes and empathic tendencies are related to knowledge and exposure to patients. As well, those students with more positive attitudes had higher empathic tendencies towards HIV/AIDS patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

It is important to adopt strategies to improve the empathic tendencies and attitudes of nursing students. These strategic changes would increase the quality of care provided to all patients.

KEYWORDS:

AAS; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS); Attitude; Empathic tendency; Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); Nursing education; Nursing student; SET

PMID:
24268638
DOI:
10.1016/j.nedt.2013.10.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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