Knowledge and attitudes of AIDS health care providers before and after education programs.
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Knowledge and attitudes of AIDS health care providers before and after education programs.

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    Public Health Rep
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    Analysis of the responses of 1,247 health care providers to questionnaires immediately before and after educational programs on acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) revealed significant (P less than .05) improvements in accuracy of knowledge about 7 of 15 modes of transmission and 7 of 11 means of infection control. Sizeable percentages, however, continued to believe after the programs that AIDS could be transmitted by casual contact, such as sharing coffee cups. Provider attitudes about caring for persons with AIDS shifted in the direction desired (P less than .001) on six of nine questions. After programs, 92 percent believed that they had sufficient knowledge to protect themselves from getting AIDS, and 79 percent felt professionally competent to care for a person with AIDS. Both before and after programs, providers who established regulations for the care of persons with AIDS and outpatient care providers had the most accurate knowledge and felt most comfortable with persons with AIDS, while inpatient care providers had the least accurate knowledge and felt least comfortable. A 1-month followup of 159 providers revealed that postprogram changes in knowledge and attitudes were largely retained. Results point to the need for education at all levels of the health care system, to a persistent gap in knowledge and attitudes between those persons who establish regulations and those who carry them out, and to the possibility of creating significant changes through education.
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