Knowledge of, attitudes towards, and willingness to care for sex workers: Differences between general and mental health nursing students

Haixia Ma, Alice Yuen Loke

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: It is not common in most nursing education programmes to teach students how to care for sex workers. Little is known about whether nursing students are prepared to care for sex workers upon graduation. Objectives: This study aims to explore and compare students in the general and mental health nursing programmes in Hong Kong in terms of their knowledge of, support for the human rights of sex workers; attitudes towards, and willingness to care for sex workers. This study also aims to explore the factors associated with attitudes towards and willingness to care for sex workers among all nursing students, general nursing students, and mental health nursing students. Methods: A cross-sectional study. Undergraduate nursing students were invited to participate in an online survey in 2019. Results: A total of 317 students completed the questionnaire. The students had little knowledge of sex workers, and their attitudes were polarized. Their attitudes towards sex workers and their support for the human rights of sex workers were significantly associated with their willingness to care for sex workers. A perceived need for education relating to caring for sex workers was positively associated with attitudes towards sex workers and a willingness to care for them. Final year students had a more positive attitude towards sex workers than first-year students. Conclusion: The study may contribute to the development of a nursing curriculum for the promotion of non-judgmental care for sex workers or disadvantaged client groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-277
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Professional Nursing
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Knowledge
  • Nursing students
  • Sex workers
  • Willingness to care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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