Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
School of Nursing
Background and Significance:
Today across the globe, children are still being born with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) contracted from their mothers. Although the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all women be screened for HIV during each pregnancy, women are still failing to meet this goal. Research shows that women who understand the benefits of HIV screening for their developing child in utero are more likely to receive an HIV screen during pregnancy. Furthermore, research has shown that women who perceive themselves as “low-risk” are less likely to receive and HIV screen prenatally.
The nursing student and faculty advisor composed a survey with questions on demographics, HIV transmission knowledge and a self-evaluation tool to assess women’s perception on their own knowledge of HIV transmission, screening, and benefits of screening.
Nearly 70% of women indicated of how much they themselves believed to known about HIV transmission with a range of scores from 27 to 100. Women’s responses to the VAS for knowledge of benefits of prenatal treatment for the developing fetus were much more discouraging than the previous VAS scale results. For this scale, there was a mean of only 34.1 with a range of 0-93. The standard deviation among responses was 27.1, meaning there was high variability among samples. Finally, the last VAS scale asked women to rate their knowledge of the fact that HIV transmission from mother to child can be prevented over 98% with the proper treatment. Women’s mean for this scale was only 44.7 with a range of 0-96 and the standard deviation among responses was 30.8, meaning there was also high variability among responses. Education level had absolutely no correlation to women’s knowledge of HIV transmission, screening, or treatment benefits during pregnancy. Of equal importance, results show that the majority of HIV transmission questions that were answered incorrectly were related to oral transmission.
Education about HIV transmission and screening during pregnancy needs to be spread to women of all educational levels. Further research can focus on how best to educate women and how to promote prenatal HIV screening for all women during every pregnancy.
Najjar, Alexandra, "Knowledge of HIV screening in Women of Childbearing Age: 18-50" (2015). Honors Theses. 52.