Investigating attitudes towards caring for people with HIV/AIDS among hospital care workers in Ibadan, Nigeria: the role of self-efficacy

  • BO Olley MRC Research Unit on Anxiety Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa


Fear of HIV infection and its consequences may affect the willingness and capacity of health care workers to provide good quality care for people with HIV/AIDS (PWHAs). The study was founded on the proposition that self-efficacy may mediate the attitudinal disposition of health care workers related to provision of care to PWHAs. Two hundred and ten physicians (n = 103) and nurses (n = 107) sampled from the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria, responded (48% response rate) to a questionnaire which addressed self-efficacy relating to HIV/AIDS, knowledge about HIV/AIDS and treatment of and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS patients. Attitude questions included items on fear of HIV infection, futility in providing care for HIV patients, distress in caring for the patient who is likely to die and willingness to care for PWHAs. The major finding was a significant association between reported high self-efficacy and less fear of acquiring HIV, less futility in providing care for PWHAs and increased willingness to provide such care. More years of education was associated with higher willingness to care, less fear associated with care as well as lower perceived futility related to the care of PWHAs. Female gender was significantly related to the perception of futility related to the care of PWHAs. There was no significant relationship between self-efficacy and knowledge about HIV/AIDS. The findings have significant implications for hospital care for PWHAs and suggest that self-efficacy, rather than knowledge about HIV/AIDS may be important in mediating attitudes towards PWHAs and also in developing intervention programmes aimed at helping health care providers to reframe their attitudes.

Keywords: attitudes; health care workers; HIV/AIDS care; Nigeria

(Af J AIDS Research: 2003 2(1): 57-61)

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1608-5906
print ISSN: 1727-9445