AIDS and Aging: Are the Eldery Becoming the New At-Risk Population?

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This dissertation breaks new ground. It examines the perceptions of older adults towards AIDS prevention. Using the National Health Interview Survey, 1988: AIDS Knowledge and Attitudes Supplement, a modified Health Belief Model is developed. Despite the low number of older adults 55+ with AIDS, some extenuating circumstances increase their risk of AIDS contraction. Older adults have lower levels of knowledge about AIDS, weaker immune systems and receive more blood transfusions. Societal influences include educational neglect at the hands of physicians, healthcare workers and social service personnel. The first stage of the dissertation involved establishing older adults as an at-risk population ... continued below

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vi, 149 leaves : ill.

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Allen, Annette Marie August 1994.

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  • Allen, Annette Marie

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Description

This dissertation breaks new ground. It examines the perceptions of older adults towards AIDS prevention. Using the National Health Interview Survey, 1988: AIDS Knowledge and Attitudes Supplement, a modified Health Belief Model is developed. Despite the low number of older adults 55+ with AIDS, some extenuating circumstances increase their risk of AIDS contraction. Older adults have lower levels of knowledge about AIDS, weaker immune systems and receive more blood transfusions. Societal influences include educational neglect at the hands of physicians, healthcare workers and social service personnel. The first stage of the dissertation involved establishing older adults as an at-risk population through an extensive literature review. Next, the data was described utilizing frequencies, correlations and factor analysis. Frequencies clearly indicated that older adults in the data set had low levels of AIDS knowledge and did not view themselves at risk for AIDS contraction. Correlations between the variables were minimal. A modified Health Belief Model was developed and tested. Multiple regression determined that minimal variation in the two dependent variables, "Perceived Effectiveness of Effective Methods to Prevent AIDS Contraction" and "Perceived Effectiveness of Ineffective Methods to Prevent AIDS Contraction" was accounted for by the independent variables. Although F ratios allowed rejection of the two null hypotheses, beta weights were low. Adjusted R^2's accounted for only 21% and 16% respectively of the variation in the dependent variables. Finally, discrepancies in the model were determined and recommendations made for further research. Most health belief models concentrate on individual social-psychological variables. Due to AIDS' societal consequences, it is proposed that societal providers of education: physicians, social service workers and healthcare personnel need to be included in the model. Recommendations were made for additional research into sexual behavior of older adults and exploration of available training of physicians, healthcare and social service professionals. Finally, recommendations were made to provide training and education for both professionals as well as the elderly to prevent their growth into an at-risk population.

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vi, 149 leaves : ill.

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

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  • August 1994

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  • March 24, 2014, 8:07 p.m.

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  • Dec. 2, 2014, 8:43 a.m.

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Allen, Annette Marie. AIDS and Aging: Are the Eldery Becoming the New At-Risk Population?, dissertation, August 1994; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278037/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .