Date of Award

5-1-2001

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

M.S.W.

First Advisor

Dr. Sarita Davis

Abstract

This study examines the HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of medical social workers that provide services to older adult populations and the effects that may impact service delivery. It was hypothesized that medical social workers believe that they lack sufficient knowledge to provide social work services to older adults with HIV/ AIDS.

The study sample consists of medical social workers who work with older adult patients and residents at a southeast Atlanta hospital and nursing home. The study reported the findings of a 23-item questionnaire that measured knowledge of HIV/AIDS older adult related issues, professional preparation and attitudes regarding sexuality and older adults. A descriptive approach was used to analyze the data and report significant findings.

Findings showed that social workers were knowledgeable, yet lacked knowledge in critical areas. Overall social workers believed that they were not prepared to provide effective service delivery. This research is of importance because in order to enhance the quality of life for at risk older adults, social workers need to evaluate their level of knowledge, their attitudes and become aware of any gaps in knowledge or biases that may impede effective service delivery.

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