Original Research

Nurses’ knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding evidence-based practice in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV programme in Malawi

Chisomo Mulenga, Joanne R. Naidoo
Curationis | Vol 40, No 1 | a1656 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v40i1.1656 | © 2017 Chisomo Mulenga, Joanne R. Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 November 2015 | Published: 12 April 2017

About the author(s)

Chisomo Mulenga, School of Nursing and Public Health, Howard College Campus, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Joanne R. Naidoo, School of Nursing and Public Health, Howard College Campus, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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Background: HIV continues to be a global public health concern with Malawi being among the worst affected countries. The prevalence of HIV among pregnant women is also very high, thereby raising concerns of mother-to-child transmission of the virus. Prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV is therefore a priority in the efforts to curb the HIV pandemic. Keeping in mind that the area of HIV management is rapidly evolving, underpinning nursing care with evidence-based practice is essential and has been reported to reduce mother-to-child transmission.
Objectives: The aim of the study was to explore and describe the knowledge, attitudes and practices of nurses regarding evidence-based practice in PMTCT at a selected hospital in Malawi.
Methods: An exploratory descriptive quantitative design was used, and 81 nurses working in paediatric, obstetrics and gynaecology departments completed a self-administered questionnaire. Data were analysed using Predictive Analytics Software.
Results: The results showed that nurses had average knowledge of evidence-based practice and although their attitudes were favourable, their practice was very low. Certain sociodemographic variables had an influence on the respondent’s knowledge, attitudes and practices. Furthermore, the results have indicated that evidence-based practice was mainly hampered by insufficient resources and difficulties in accessing research articles. It emerged from the study that mentoring, training and access to literature could facilitate evidence-based practice in PMTCT among nurses.
Conclusion: Nurses need to be provided with the necessary support including education and resources if evidence-based practice in PMTCT is to be promoted.


Evidence-based practice (EBP); nursing in Malawi; prevention of mother–to–child transmission of HIV (PMTCT)


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