An assessment of attitudes of mental health counselors toward persons with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3197xp855

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  • This study investigated the attitudes of mental health counselors toward persons with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Three hundred and fifty-eight members of the American Mental Health Counselors Association were mailed a survey packet including an Attitude Towards AIDS Victims scale and an additional two questions assessing comfort with clients with AIDS. Demographic information was also collected. There were 255 useable surveys, for a response rate of 72%. The results of the survey indicated that gender was not a significant independent variable in the attitudes of the mental health counselors. Professional and/or personal contacts with a person with AIDS were highly predictive of positive attitudes. Sexual orientation of the respondent was also highly significant as was personal acquaintance with a gay male or lesbian. Formal AIDS training of one hour or more showed a significant relationship with attitudes of mental health counselors toward persons with AIDS, with the relationship becoming more significant at 11 or more hours. The study indicated that mental health counselors are largely uninvolved in providing mental health treatment to persons with AIDS, with 5% of the subjects providing 70% of the services. Recommendations follow regarding preservice and inservice AIDS training and the need for mental health counselors to be more proactive in the AIDS epidemic.
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