2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/616370
Category:
Full-text
Type:
Poster
Title:
Attitudes of Health Professions' Students Toward Older Adults
Author(s):
Shuman, Michele M.
Lead Author STTI Affiliation:
Iota Kappa
Author Details:
Michele M. Shuman, RN, shuman.m@gmercyu.edu
Abstract:
Session presented on Thursday, July 21, 2016 and Friday, July 22, 2016: Purpose: Across the world, the population of older adults is growing exponentially. This growing population will not only tax each socio-economic system in which the growth is occurring, but especially the health care systems in each respective country. For many of these older adults, as they live longer, suffer from at least one chronic illness. Older adults occupy more than half the beds in acute care institutions. Their age and health status makes older adults an especially vulnerable population who deserve the most compassionate and competent care possible. Research over the past thirty years has frequently examined the attitudes of various health care professions? students toward older adults. Studies have been done not only in the United States, but in various countries all over the world. Unfortunately, these studies have had conflicting results (Golder, Gammonley, Hunt, Olsen, & Issenberg, 2014; King, Roberts, & Bowers, 2013), making it impossible to draw any conclusions about the attitudes students have toward older adults. Since literature supports the connection between students? attitudes and the quality of care provided (Eynard & Douglas, 2012), this study was undertaken to identify the attitudes of current health professions students. If negative attitudes were found to prevail, activities to change attitudes would need to be incorporated into a planned interprofessional geronotology course. However, if attitudes were found to be predominantly positive, the gerontology course could focus on other important topics and would not need to include attitude adjustment activities. 'Methods: ' The current study used a cross-sectional, exploratory descriptive design. All health professional students at a university in the Eastern section of the United States were invited to participate in an online survey, which included an attitude survey recently designed by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine (Carolina Opinions on Care of Older Adults). Previous instruments that measured attitudes toward older adults were researched thoroughly, and all found to be lacking. The COCOA survey demonstrated acceptable reliability (.801) when used by its creators (Hollar, Roberts, & Busby-Whitehead, 2011). In the current study, the COCOA?s alpha coefficient was .84. The sample in the current study included 119 students. Six health professions were represented: occupational therapy, nursing, exercise science, physical therapy, community health education, and rehabilitation counseling. The sample was predominantly female (89.3%), Caucasian (90.8%), and undergraduate (75.2%). The mean age of the participants was 21.6 years. Previous studies also looked at possible correlations to students? attitudes. Several of these factors were chosen to be examined in the current study as well: students? personal relationships with older adults, amount of clinical experience with older adults, and knowledge of older adults (measured by whether students had a gerontology course in their program). Results: The range of possible scores on the COCOA survey'was from 24 to 120, with the higher score indicating a more positive attitude. The scores in this study ranged from 61 to 120, with a mean score of 92.22. This is a very positive score, especially when compared with the study done by the developers of the COCOA survey, where the mean was 55.5 (Hollar et al., 2011). When age and gender were examined for a correlation to attitude, no significant correlation was found. When the student?s educational level (graduate or undergraduate) was examined for a correlation to attitude by means of a point biserial, a positive but low correlation was found (r=.245, p=.007, n=118). The largest correlation in the study was found when investigating whether a correlation existed between students? attitudes and the number of close personal relationships they had with older adults. 79.4% of the sample stated that they had three or more close personal relationships with older adults. The correlation for this question accounted for 14.4% of the variance (r=.380, p<.001, n=115). When considering the question of the relationship between students? attitudes toward older adults and their knowledge, which was measured by whether they had a course in gerontology, a weak but significant correlation was found (r=.291, p=.001, n=119). Finally, a nonsignificant correlation was found between the students? attitudes and the amount of clinical experience they had. Conclusion: This study revealed that current health professional students have fairly positive attitudes toward older adults. Future courses in gerontology should be able to focus on the particular health needs of this vulnerable population, rather than having to worry about changing students? attitudes. More than ever, the need for current health care students to be educated about the specialized needs of older adults has been supported by this study. If the results of this study are extrapolated to practicing health professionals, it appears they may have fairly positive attitudes. However, many practicing professionals today never had any specific coursework in gerontology during their initial education. Therefore, the results of this study and particularly the correlation found between knowledge of gerontology and more positive attitudes toward older adults underscores the need for practicing health care professionals to receive specific education about older adults. Administrators and those in charge of continuing education of health care professionals must make sure that a variety of geriatric topics are available to staff working in health care institutions. This study has implications for those who make health care policy as well. Research to keep geriatrics education up to date must be funded, and money must be available to disseminate new findings as they are made about the health and health care issues of older adults. Continued research into the best way to meet the health care needs of older adults also must be funded and encouraged.
Keywords:
attitudes; students; gerontology
Repository Posting Date:
13-Jul-2016
Date of Publication:
13-Jul-2016 ; 13-Jul-2016
Other Identifiers:
INRC16PST79; INRC16PST79
Conference Date:
2016
Conference Name:
27th International Nursing Research Congress
Conference Host:
Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing
Conference Location:
Cape Town, South Africa
Description:
Theme: Leading Global Research: Advancing Practice, Advocacy, and Policy

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen
dc.type.categoryFull-texten
dc.typePosteren
dc.titleAttitudes of Health Professions' Students Toward Older Adultsen
dc.contributor.authorShuman, Michele M.en
dc.contributor.departmentIota Kappaen
dc.author.detailsMichele M. Shuman, RN, shuman.m@gmercyu.eduen
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/616370-
dc.description.abstractSession presented on Thursday, July 21, 2016 and Friday, July 22, 2016: Purpose: Across the world, the population of older adults is growing exponentially. This growing population will not only tax each socio-economic system in which the growth is occurring, but especially the health care systems in each respective country. For many of these older adults, as they live longer, suffer from at least one chronic illness. Older adults occupy more than half the beds in acute care institutions. Their age and health status makes older adults an especially vulnerable population who deserve the most compassionate and competent care possible. Research over the past thirty years has frequently examined the attitudes of various health care professions? students toward older adults. Studies have been done not only in the United States, but in various countries all over the world. Unfortunately, these studies have had conflicting results (Golder, Gammonley, Hunt, Olsen, & Issenberg, 2014; King, Roberts, & Bowers, 2013), making it impossible to draw any conclusions about the attitudes students have toward older adults. Since literature supports the connection between students? attitudes and the quality of care provided (Eynard & Douglas, 2012), this study was undertaken to identify the attitudes of current health professions students. If negative attitudes were found to prevail, activities to change attitudes would need to be incorporated into a planned interprofessional geronotology course. However, if attitudes were found to be predominantly positive, the gerontology course could focus on other important topics and would not need to include attitude adjustment activities. 'Methods: ' The current study used a cross-sectional, exploratory descriptive design. All health professional students at a university in the Eastern section of the United States were invited to participate in an online survey, which included an attitude survey recently designed by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine (Carolina Opinions on Care of Older Adults). Previous instruments that measured attitudes toward older adults were researched thoroughly, and all found to be lacking. The COCOA survey demonstrated acceptable reliability (.801) when used by its creators (Hollar, Roberts, & Busby-Whitehead, 2011). In the current study, the COCOA?s alpha coefficient was .84. The sample in the current study included 119 students. Six health professions were represented: occupational therapy, nursing, exercise science, physical therapy, community health education, and rehabilitation counseling. The sample was predominantly female (89.3%), Caucasian (90.8%), and undergraduate (75.2%). The mean age of the participants was 21.6 years. Previous studies also looked at possible correlations to students? attitudes. Several of these factors were chosen to be examined in the current study as well: students? personal relationships with older adults, amount of clinical experience with older adults, and knowledge of older adults (measured by whether students had a gerontology course in their program). Results: The range of possible scores on the COCOA survey'was from 24 to 120, with the higher score indicating a more positive attitude. The scores in this study ranged from 61 to 120, with a mean score of 92.22. This is a very positive score, especially when compared with the study done by the developers of the COCOA survey, where the mean was 55.5 (Hollar et al., 2011). When age and gender were examined for a correlation to attitude, no significant correlation was found. When the student?s educational level (graduate or undergraduate) was examined for a correlation to attitude by means of a point biserial, a positive but low correlation was found (r=.245, p=.007, n=118). The largest correlation in the study was found when investigating whether a correlation existed between students? attitudes and the number of close personal relationships they had with older adults. 79.4% of the sample stated that they had three or more close personal relationships with older adults. The correlation for this question accounted for 14.4% of the variance (r=.380, p<.001, n=115). When considering the question of the relationship between students? attitudes toward older adults and their knowledge, which was measured by whether they had a course in gerontology, a weak but significant correlation was found (r=.291, p=.001, n=119). Finally, a nonsignificant correlation was found between the students? attitudes and the amount of clinical experience they had. Conclusion: This study revealed that current health professional students have fairly positive attitudes toward older adults. Future courses in gerontology should be able to focus on the particular health needs of this vulnerable population, rather than having to worry about changing students? attitudes. More than ever, the need for current health care students to be educated about the specialized needs of older adults has been supported by this study. If the results of this study are extrapolated to practicing health professionals, it appears they may have fairly positive attitudes. However, many practicing professionals today never had any specific coursework in gerontology during their initial education. Therefore, the results of this study and particularly the correlation found between knowledge of gerontology and more positive attitudes toward older adults underscores the need for practicing health care professionals to receive specific education about older adults. Administrators and those in charge of continuing education of health care professionals must make sure that a variety of geriatric topics are available to staff working in health care institutions. This study has implications for those who make health care policy as well. Research to keep geriatrics education up to date must be funded, and money must be available to disseminate new findings as they are made about the health and health care issues of older adults. Continued research into the best way to meet the health care needs of older adults also must be funded and encouraged.en
dc.subjectattitudesen
dc.subjectstudentsen
dc.subjectgerontologyen
dc.date.available2016-07-13T11:11:01Z-
dc.date.issued2016-07-13-
dc.date.issued2016-07-13en
dc.date.accessioned2016-07-13T11:11:01Z-
dc.conference.date2016en
dc.conference.name27th International Nursing Research Congressen
dc.conference.hostSigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursingen
dc.conference.locationCape Town, South Africaen
dc.descriptionTheme: Leading Global Research: Advancing Practice, Advocacy, and Policyen
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