#VP107: Reducing Health Workers’ Stigmatising Attitudes Towards People Who Inject Drugs And People Living With HIV Via Micro-Learning Interventions

Author: Timothy Broady Loren Brener Elena Cama Kari Lancaster Carla Treloar

Theme: Social Science and Policy Research Year: 2021

Background: The negative health impacts of stigma for people who inject drugs (PWID) and people living with HIV (PLHIV) are well established, however, evidence regarding the effectiveness of stigma reduction interventions within healthcare settings is lacking. Research suggests that health workers may behave negatively towards certain clients when they believe that their colleagues hold negative attitudes towards those groups. Drawing on social norms theory, this study evaluated the effectiveness of online micro-learning interventions in reducing stigmatising attitudes held by health workers towards PWID and PLHIV. Methods: Australian health workers were randomly allocated to one of two interventions: 1) PWID (n=321); 2) PLHIV (n=332). Participants completed baseline and post-intervention measures of their own attitudes and their perceptions of their colleagues’ attitudes towards the relevant client group. The intervention consisted of a four-minute video presentation by an experienced health worker, who discussed research findings to challenge assumptions about colleagues’ attitudes. Changes in attitudes from pre- to post-intervention were analysed. Results: At baseline, health workers believed that their colleagues’ attitudes towards PLHIV were more stigmatising than their own (Z=9.23, p

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