Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine

Volume 10 Number 2, April 2003
Abstract

Nurses' attitude toward alcoholic patients in accident and emergency department in Hong Kong

JYM Chung, JTS Chan, RSD Yeung, RCH Wan, ST Ho

Few studies on the attitude of nurses toward alcoholic patients have been conducted in Hong Kong. The aim of this study was to understand the attitude of nurses toward alcoholic patients in local Accident and Emergency Departments (AEDs). Alcoholism is a stigmatized 'disease'. Some studies revealed that nurses tended to have negative attitudes toward people with alcoholic problems. This can influence the quality of healthcare provided to this group of patients. As a result, alcoholic patients may not be properly treated. The researchers of this study employed a cross-sectional survey to gather data from the targeted sample. The Alcohol and Alcohol Problems Perception Questionnaire (AAPPQ) was used to evaluate the attitudes of nurses toward alcoholic patients. In addition, relationships between therapeutic attitude toward alcoholic patients and various independent variables (including experience in specialty, education related to alcohol and alcoholic problems, the degree of support received from co-workers, and self-esteem of individuals) were analyzed. Six hundred nursing staff, including registered nurses, enrolled nurses and nursing officers working in AED, were invited to participate in the study. One hundred and ninety (31.6%) of them responded. The findings showed that nurses working in AEDs tended to have negative attitudes toward alcoholic patients. Most of those surveyed got low scores in role security, which indicated they perceived themselves inadequate in both skills and knowledge relating to problem drinkers. The findings also reflected that the degree of support received and self-esteem correlated with the overall attitude toward alcoholic patients. To conclude, providing more support and training opportunities to nursing staff are conducive to more positive attitude of nurses toward alcoholic patients. (Hong Kong j.emerg.med. 2003;10:104-112)

Keywords : Alcoholism, nursing care



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