Patients’ Attitudes to HIV Testing in the Dental Setting

The article written by VanDevanter et al. (2012) is focused on the attitudes of patients toward HIV testing. Professionals state that about 200,000 of a million infected individuals are not aware of their status, which means that they can share HIV with others. Such statistics made the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage healthcare providers to offer their patients HIV testing.

The authors maintained a qualitative research study and interviewed patients to reveal how patients served by nurse-dentist collaborations at dental clinic settings treat this screening. In particular, they focus on such a research question: what attitudes and beliefs toward HIV testing are held by patients in dental sites? In addition to that, VanDevanter et al. (2012) wonder what are the main “factors that should be incorporated into the design of nurse-dentist collaborative HIV screening programs” (p. 1).

The sample of this study included patients who visited the provider of dental care at the NYU College of Dentistry (New York state) in 2010. These were people who looked for low-cost services, as they represented a marginalized and at-risk population. More than 82,000 patients were considered, but a few participated. Almost 75% of them were about 30-49 years old. 58% were females. 83% were not European Americans. 53% had Medicaid insurance, and 22% had a private one. The rest of them were uninsured. The findings revealed that the sample had positive thoughts regarding HIV tests in dental sites.


VanDevanter, N., Combellick, J., Hutchinson, K., Phelan, P., Malamud, D., & Shelley, D. (2012). A qualitative study of patients’ attitudes toward HIV testing in the dental setting. Nursing Research and Practice, 2012, 1-6.

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