Optimizing HIV care by expanding the nursing role: patient and provider perspectives

J Adv Nurs. 2010 Feb;66(2):260-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2009.05165.x.


Aim: This paper is a report of a study conducted to explore HIV healthcare services from the perspectives of both healthcare providers and patients in order to understand how to optimize HIV nursing care.

Background: In China, healthcare providers usually first diagnose HIV in a general hospital. Then, HIV-positive individuals are transferred to a specialist hospital. Between healthcare providers and healthcare institutions, there are many gaps in the process from diagnosis to treatment.

Methods: One focus group with six healthcare providers and 29 in-depth interviews with people living with HIV/AIDS were conducted during 2005.

Findings: Patients who were diagnosed with HIV in a general hospital often did not discuss their condition with a healthcare provider before being sent to a specialist hospital. Furthermore, since the patients had already been diagnosed, healthcare providers in the specialist hospital did not deal adequately with the disclosure process and emotional reactions to the diagnosis. They reported feeling overwhelmed in their role in providing healthcare services. Nurses reported that they were responsible for many 'non-nursing' tasks and did not have the opportunity to give the type of care they were trained to offer.

Conclusion: Optimizing HIV care in China will involve establishing clear boundaries between general and specialist hospitals and a division of labour among healthcare providers that eases the burden of care and takes advantage of the full scope of practice that nurses are trained to provide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • China
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / nursing*
  • Hospitals, General
  • Hospitals, Special
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Surveys and Questionnaires