Health care students' willingness to interact with
patients living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA): examining the influence of attributions,
prejudicial evaluation, perception of occupational risk and emotions
The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Department of Behavioural Sciences, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
and treatment of HIV patients are critical factors in dealing with the HIV
epidemic. Factors which adversely affect health providers' care of patients
living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) have serious implications for the epidemic. This
study examined the effect of cognitive and affective variables on health care students'
(HCS) willingness to interact with PLWHA. Cognitive factors (attributions of blame,
perception of occupational risk, and prejudicial evaluation) and emotional factors
(fear, anger, empathy and disgust) have direct effects on health care
providers' delivery of treatment and care to PLWHA.
were 344 health care students (nurses, dentists, medical & surgical
doctors) from a university/teaching hospital in Trinidad including 87males
(26%) and 252 females (74%). A vignette
manipulated a patient's sexual orientation (homosexual/ heterosexual) and onset
controllability (HIV infection through promiscuous sexual activity/HIV
infection through blood transfusion). A two by two (2x2) factorial design was therefore
used. Data was
collected via a self- administered paper- pencil questionnaire. Multivariate
analysis of variance (MANOVA), multiple regression and Sobel test for mediation
effect of onset controllability on participants' attributions, emotions,
prejudicial evaluation, and willingness to interact was significant, F(10, 339) = 57.79, p < .001. The cognitive and affective
variables explained a significant proportion of variance in respondents'
willingness to interact with PLWHA, R2 = .38, F( 9,
329) = 23.55, p < .001. Emotions fully and partially mediated between
attributions and willingness to interact at p
patients' onset controllability and (HCS) prejudicial evaluations have negative
consequences for delivery of care and treatment to PLWHA. Emotions are essential in enhancing patient - provider relationship and should be emphasized
within the curriculum for training of health care students.
Back to the Programme-at-a-Glance