AIDS outreach workers: An exploratory study of job satisfactions/dissatisfactions

S. Deren, W. R. Davis, S. Tortu, S. Friedman, S. Tross, M. Sufian, J. Pascal, C. Stull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIDS outreach workers operate at the frontlines of the AIDS epidemic to provide:information and education to high-risk individuals. Recent reports indicate that these workers have been effective in helping to reduce high risk behaviors. However, a review of retention data for 62 outreach workers employed from 1986 to 1988 at a private nonprofit research institute indicated a high rate of turnover, especially among males. The literature provides little information regarding the demographic characteristics of outreach workers and their sources of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction. This exploratory investigation was undertaken to address these topics. Structured interviews were conducted with 20 currently active outreach workers. Results indicate that altruistic motives' were most frequently cited as reasons why people became outreach workers and also provided the primary source of satisfaction. Stress was most frequently mentioned as a source of dissatisfaction and also as a reason previous workers had left outreach work. Conclusions focus on the outreach workers' suggestions for job improvements. These included: improvement in the terms of employment (e.g., salary, benefits); more education and training opportunities; and more support groups or help with recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-337
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS Education and Prevention
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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