242288 Undergraduate nursing students and the elderly: An assessment of attitudes

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 8:30 AM

A. Serdar Atav, PhD , Decker School of Nursing, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
Merdiye Sendir, PhD , Florence Nightingale School of Nursing, Istanbul University, Sisli - Istanbul, Turkey
Funda Buyukyilmaz, PhD , Florence Nightingale School of Nursing, Istanbul University, Sisli - Istanbul, Turkey
Rengin Acaroglu, PhD , Florence Nightingale School of Nursing, Istanbul University, Sisli - Istanbul, Turkey
Considerable growth of the elderly across the world has brought with it significant care related problems and concerns. Attitudes toward the elderly are mostly based on myths and stereotypes and contribute to a further lack of understanding of the aging process. The quality of care provided to the elderly is directly related to the attitudes of health care professionals. The purpose of this study is to assess the attitudes of undergraduate nursing students toward the elderly. Using Kogan's Attitudes toward Older People (KAOP) scale, 468 undergraduate nursing students were surveyed at a four-year university in Turkey. The validity and the reliability of the translated instrument had already been established in previous research. Initial analyses indicate that 87% of the students were female; with a mean age of 21. Forty-four percent of the respondents indicated that they would be interested in caring for the elderly. Furthermore, 59% had already had experience caring for the elderly and 20% had an elderly relative living with their families. Out of a possible total KAOP score of 204, the students had a mean KAOP score of 122.33 with a range changing from 27 to 166. It is important to identify nursing students' perceptions of the elderly and the aging process early in their educational process so that appropriate educational interventions can be designed to improve the care of the elderly. It is these students who may hold leadership positions in the future as public health nurses in providing quality health care to the elderly.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related education
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe undergraduate nursing studentsí attitudes toward the elderly. 2.Identify characteristics(demographic and family )that affect students' attitudes toward the elderly. 3.Discuss how results of this study can be utilized to make improvements in the undergraduate curricula.

Keywords: Elderly, Nursing Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved with this study I wrote the abstract and completed all the data analyses along with my Turkish colleagues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.