Author

Anna Feenstra

Date of Defense

5-23-2012

Date of Graduation

4-28-2012

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Patricia Fuehr

Second Advisor

Mary Ann Stark

Abstract

An aging American population means more older adults will be entering the health care system. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the attitudes of nursing students toward older adults and to determine if these attitudes change over the course of a nursing program. This study was carried out in a university in the Midwest United States. A pre-test post-test single group design was used for this study. Students were surveyed three times throughout the program using Kogan’s Old People scale (KOP) and a demographic questionnaire. Testing was conducted at the beginning and end of the sophomore geriatric course (T1 and T2) and prior to graduation (T3). The sample size for T1 and T2 was 40, and for T3 it was 35 students. The sample was predominantly female, under 25 years of age and Caucasian. The results indicate that students had positive attitudes which increased over the course of the program, as measured by the KOP scale. Implications are that more research should be done to determine the factors influencing student attitudes toward older adults and that schools of nursing should place more emphasis on geriatric/gerontology material in their curricula.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Nursing Commons

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