A self-administered questionnaire assessing general knowledge about AIDS, including modes of transmission, methods of prevention and attitudes to the disease, was completed by staff in a psychiatric hospital after an AIDS education seminar. The data were used to assess staff knowledge of and attitudes to AIDS, and to assess the usefulness of the seminar in changing these. Responses to individual questionnaire items were examined for associations with age, sex, job description and attendance at the seminar.
Eighty-six staff members returned questionnaires, a response rate of 39%. The results showed that levels of knowledge concerning AIDS transmission and prevention were high. A significantly greater proportion of seminar attenders were aware that needles should not be recapped after taking blood samples, but when this and other knowledge and attitude responses were corrected to allow for the higher proportion of non-medical staff among the non-attenders, there were no significant differences between attenders and non-attenders.
These results suggest that an omnibus AIDS education seminar may not produce a worthwhile improvement in staff knowledge of or attitudes to AIDS.