Gender differences among oral health care workers in caring for HIV/AIDS patients in Osun state, Nigeria
The study investigated the relationship between gender and knowledge, attitude and practice of infection control among oral health care workers in the management of patients with HIV/AIDS in Osun State of Nigeria. It was a cross-sectional survey using 85 oral Health care workers (OHCWs) enlisted in the public dental health clinics. A self-administered questionnaire was designed and used for data collection. A total of 85 questionnaires were distributed. The response rate was 93%; 42 (53%) were males and 37 (47%) females. The majority of the respondents were in the 25-40 year old age group and the mean age was 37.3 years.
This study found significant differences in gender and ability to identify HIV/AIDS oral manifestations (p <0.001) and recognition of HIV/AIDS risk factors (p <0.001). There was statistically significant gender difference and infection control practices (p =0.02) among the OHCWs. Males were more compliant to the universal cross-infection control principle than the female respondents. A significant association (p < 0.001) was found between OHCW gender and their attitude to the management of HIV/AIDS patients with males showing a better attitude towards the care of HIV/AIDS patients.
This study shows that there are significant gender difference in attitudes, behaviour and practices of OHCW with males faring better than the females. National AIDS Control Programme, Health Control bodies, Health educators and other organizations should make efforts to improve the attitude and practice of oral health care workers regarding the management of patients with HIV/AIDS.
Keywords: Gender difference, Oral health workers, HIV/AIDS.
African Health Sciences Vol. 5 (3) 2005: pp. 182-187