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Article   |    
AIDS Anxiety Among Health Care Professionals
Joel J. Wallack
Psychiatric Services 1989; doi:
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The author thanks John Sullivan, M.D., Ph.D., and Dominick Lamonica, M.D., for assistance in preparing and distributing the questionnaire and Ruby Senie, Ph.D., for statistical consultation. This survey was undertaken as part of a community medicine clerkship at Mount Sinai School of Medicine of the City University of New York.

Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City Clinical Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 317 East 17th Street, New York, New York 10003

1989 by the American Psychiatric Association

An erratum to this article has been published | view the erratum
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Abstract

House staff physicians and nurses at a major New York City teaching hospital completed a 79-item questionnaire designed to assess AIDS anxiety, fear of contagion, and personal attitudes about homosexuality. Sixty-three percent of respondents were skeptical of or did not believe assurances by experts that health care workers who observe safety guidelines are at minimal risk of contracting AlDS from patients. Respondents from minority groups were significantly less trusting of experts' reassurances of their safety and were more uncomfortable working with homosexual patients. Twenty-six percent of all respondents feared that they would become victims of AIDS if they continued their present work, yet 97 percent expressed a firm commitment to caring for AIDS patients throughout their illness and the dying process. The author suggests that AIDS training and educational programs for health care professionals should consider their cultural background and psychosocial needs.

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