Psychosocial Responses of Hospital Workers to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)*
Lydia O'Donnell Education Development Center Newton, Massachusetts Carl R. O'Donnell Department of Medicine New England Deaconess Hospital Joseph H. Pleck Wheaton College John Snarey Northwestern University Evanston, Illinois Richard M. Rose Department of Medicine New England Deaconess Hospital
As the first group of service providers to come into regular, intimate, and prolonged contact with individuals who have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), hospital workers are in a unique position to influence the mental as well as physical health of those with AIDS. In addition, they are, at times, called upon to educate others in the community. Assessment of their responses to AIDS will facilitate the development of strategies for improving the quality of medical care delivered to AIDS patients, reducing the jobrelated stress experienced by health-care providers, and facilitating dissemination of information about the disease to the public.
Since the number of AIDS cases is projected to double annually for the next several years (Centers for Disease Control, 1985), a growing proportion of hospital workers will become AIDS-care providers. It is estimated that in 1991, 80% of the 145,000 people needing treatment will be found outside New York and San Francisco, which currently harbor 40% of all cases (Cen-____________________