Knowledge and beliefs about HIV/AIDS among physiotherapy students
Keywords:College students, Human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) transmission, HIV/AIDS prevention, Knowledge of HIV/AIDS, HIV/AIDS denial
Background: The HIV epidemic poses significant challenges to the healthcare providers including Physiotherapists. The study aimed at investigating the extent to which Physiotherapy College students know about human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) transmission, infection and prevention, and the transfer of such knowledge to sexual behavior change & and to know whether knowledge has any influence on the attitude and willingness to treat HIV/AIDS patients.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out on 217 physiotherapy students studying at the Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute of Physiotherapy, Kalkaji, New Delhi, India. The students completed a predesigned self-administered questionnaire assessing the knowledge, attitude and willingness to treat HIV/AIDS patients. The data were analyzed using ANOVA test (all the results are calculated at 1% level of significance) and Pearson correlation test.
Results: The total mean knowledge score was 73.23% (good knowledge). There was a significant difference in knowledge among the Fourth-year & first-year students, which was found to be statistically significant (P<0.001%). The study showed that the overall mean attitude score was 62.83% (negative attitude). There was no significant difference in the attitude of the students among the five groups (P>0.001%). Karl Pearson correlation test showed no significant correlation between the knowledge of HIV/AIDS and the attitude of students towards HIV/AIDS patients (P>0.01%).
Conclusions: The findings suggest that although the students had adequate knowledge about HIV/AIDS, their attitude towards this group of people was negative. From the study, fear of HIV contagion was observed as a major reason for the negative attitude of students towards HIV/AIDS patients.
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