oa African Journal of Health Professions Education - Medical and dental students' willingness to administer treatments and procedures for patients living with AIDS : research
Background. Nearly three decades after the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemics continue to pose significant challenges to low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Objective. To assess medical and dental students' willingness to perform specific techniques and procedures on people living with AIDS (PLWA).
Methods. A survey was done among medical and dental students (N=304) at a Nigerian University using a 21-item questionnaire that elicited responses on sociodemographic characteristics and willingness to perform specific techniques and procedures. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and an independent t-test were used to determine the influence of sociodemographic variables. Multiple regression analyses were used to determine the predictors of willingness.
Results. The cohort of medical and dental students was willing to care for PLWA. Almost all medical students were either undecided or unwilling to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. A higher proportion of dental students were either undecided or unwilling to assist during surgery, tooth extractions and other procedures they considered to be invasive. More medical than dental students were willing to carry out surgical procedures. Previous personal encounters with AIDS patients, religion, and satisfaction with instructions influenced medical and dental students' willingness to care for PLWA, while knowing a family member living with AIDS (R2=0.22, p<0.001) was the strongest predictor of willingness to care for PLWA.
Conclusion. Extensive use of clinical clerkships and exposure through direct experience are viable strategies necessary for optimising and enhancing medical and dental students' dispositions to perform procedures and care for PLWA.
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