Determinants of Clinician Knowledge on Aging and HIV/AIDS: A Survey of Practitioners and Policy Makers in Kampala District, Uganda

Obuku, Ekwaro A.; Parikh, Sujal M.; Nankabirwa, Victoria; Kakande, Nelson I.; Mafigiri, David K.; Mayanja-Kizza, Harriet; Kityo, Cissy M.; Mugyenyi, Peter N.; Salata, Robert A.


The HIV/AIDS epidemic has evolved with an increasing burden in older adults. We assessed for knowledge about aging and HIV/AIDS, among clinicians in Kampala district, Uganda.


A cross-sectional survey of 301 clinicians complemented by 9 key-informant interviews between May and October 2011. Data was analyzed by multivariable logistic regression for potential determinants of clinician knowledge about HIV/AIDS in older adults, estimating their adjusted Odds Ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) using Stata 11.2 software.


Two-hundred and sixty-two questionnaires (87.7%) were returned. Respondents had a median age of 30 years (IQR 27–34) and 57.8% were general medical doctors. The mean knowledge score was 49% (range 8.8%–79.4%). Questions related to co-morbidities in HIV/AIDS (non-AIDS related cancers and systemic diseases) and chronic antiretroviral treatment toxicities (metabolic disorders) accounted for significantly lower scores (mean, 41.7%, 95% CI: 39.3%–44%) compared to HIV/AIDS epidemiology and prevention (mean, 65.7%, 95% CI: 63.7%–67.7%). Determinants of clinician knowledge in the multivariable analysis included (category, aOR, 95% CI): clinician age (30–39 years; 3.28∶1.65–9.75), number of persons with HIV/AIDS seen in the past year (less than 50; 0.34∶0.14–0.86) and clinical profession (clinical nurse practitioner; 0.31∶0.11–0.83). Having diploma level education had a marginal association with lower knowledge about HIV and aging (p = 0.09).


Our study identified gaps and determinants of knowledge about HIV/AIDS in older adults among clinicians in Kampala district, Uganda. Clinicians in low and middle income countries could benefit from targeted training in chronic care for older adults with HIV/AIDS and long-term complications of antiretroviral treatment.

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March 9, 2017