Abstract: (see Poster Gallery) Positive Aging. Raising Awareness Among Professionals in Elderly Care and Work about the Needs of Older People Living with HIV (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

363P (see Poster Gallery) Positive Aging. Raising Awareness Among Professionals in Elderly Care and Work about the Needs of Older People Living with HIV

Schedule:
Friday, January 13, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Sibylle Nideröst, PhD, Professor, Head of the Institute for Integration and Participation, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Olten, Switzerland
Christoph Imhof, PhD, Research Associate, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Olten, Switzerland
Patrick Weber, PhD, Research Associate, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Olten, Switzerland
Fabian Kempter, MA, Lecturer, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, M√ľnchenstein, Switzerland
Background:

Worldwide, the number of HIV-positive people over the age of 50 is increasing. In Switzerland, nearly 50 percent of people living with HIV (PLWH) are 50 years and older. Given the increase in age-related comorbidities among older PLWH, facilities for the elderly will increasingly need to address this population. However, awareness of the needs and concerns of older PLWH appears to be lacking among elder care and work professionals. This can lead to negative attitudes and prejudices towards older PLWH. The aim of our project was to sensitize professionals in elderly care and work to the needs of older PLWH and to make them reconsider their own attitudes towards older PLWH. Therefore, together with a local NGO, we produced an educational film about the needs of PLWH regarding their life in old age.

Methods:

We used 14 video interviews from a previous research project with PLWH aged 51 to 83 and added three additional interviews with medical, nursing, and social work professionals. Informed consent was obtained. The final version of the educational film consists of three chapters: HIV diagnosis and life afterwards, experiences of multiple discrimination, and living arrangements in old age. For evaluation of the film, we used a self-administered paper-pencil questionnaire that included an adapted HIV Stigma Scale and statements about the needs of older PLWH. We showed the film to a class of 55 social work students. In a quasi-experimental design, we randomly divided students into two groups. One group completed the questionnaire before the film screening (control group, N=24), and the other group completed the questionnaire after the film screening (intervention group, N=24). Participation was voluntary. We analyzed the data by using descriptive and inferential statistics (T-test).

Results:

Among the participants, 69% were women and 31% were men. The mean age was 24 years (IQR=5.00). Both the intervention and the control group estimated that the film improved their knowledge of older PLWH and reduced their prejudice. However, the intervention group perceived greater discrimination against older PLWH (M=5.55, SD=0.92 vs. M=4.46, SD=1.09, t(45)=-3.71, p<0.001, d=-1.08) and knew their needs better (M=6.40, SD=0.55 vs. M=5.69, SD=0.49, t(45)=-4.61, p<0.001, d=-1.35) than the control group participants. These effects were independent of age and gender.

Implications:

The evaluation showed that the film was able to raise awareness of the needs of PLWH in old age and encouraged students to reconsider their own attitudes toward older PLWH. For use in education and training of care and social work professionals, we strongly recommend that the film be accompanied by facts and figures on HIV and current research data to achieve lasting learning effects.