An exploratory descriptive study on nurses' knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding evidence based practice in a prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV program at a selected public tertiary hospital in Malawi.
HIV/AIDS continues to be a global public health concern with Malawi being among the countries worst affected by the pandemic. Women have the highest prevalence compared to men and the prevalence is also very high among pregnant women, thereby increasing the risk of mother to child transmission of the virus. Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV is therefore a priority in the efforts to curb the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The HIV/AIDS field is rapidly evolving, however, as more research evidence continues to emerge. Studies have shown that successful implementation of evidence-based interventions from empirical research can result in remarkable reduction of Mother to child transmission of HIV. This necessitates evidence-based practice among nurses. The purpose of this study therefore was to explore and describe the knowledge, attitudes and practices of nurses regarding evidence-based practice in Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV at a selected public tertiary hospital in Malawi. A non-experimental exploratory descriptive quantitative design was used for the study. The study population comprised permanently employed nurses working in maternity, pediatric and gynecology departments of the selected hospital. The total population was 86 and all the nurses were invited to participate. Only 81 agreed, giving a response rate of 94%. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data and the data were entered and subsequently analyzed using Predictive Analytics Software (PASW) version 21. The findings of the study revealed that nurses had average knowledge of evidence-based practice. Although their attitudes were found to be favorable, their practice of evidence-based practice was very low. Certain social-demographic variables were found to have an influence on the nurses’ knowledge, attitudes and practices. Nurses indicated that evidence-based practice was mainly hampered by insufficient resources and difficulties in accessing research articles. Mentoring, training and access to literature were the major facilitators reported by the nurses. Based on these findings, it is recommended that for evidence-based practice to be promoted, the nurses be provided with the necessary support including education and resources. .
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