Graduate Nursing Students' Attitudes Toward Gay and Hemophiliac Men With AIDS
Strasser, Judith A.
Evaluation and the Health Professions. 1992 Mar; 15(1): 115-127.
Subjects were 180 registered nurses enrolled in a master's nursing program. By random assignment, each read one of six versions of a vignette about a male patient. Vignettes differed in terms of patient's diagnosis (AIDS of unspecified origin, AIDS in a hemophiliac infected by blood transfusion, and leukemia) and sexual preference (gay or heterosexual). Nurses evaluated the patient on two scales, one involving judgments of patients and the other concerning willingness to interact socially with them. The hemophiliac/AIDS and leukemia patients were judged significantly less responsible for and less deserving of their illnesses than was the patient with AIDS of unspecified origin (p less than .001). However, all three diagnostic categories were considered equally deserving of the best possible care. Both categories of AIDS patients were stigmatized in terms of certain social interactions. There was also some weak evidence of antigay bias. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
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