Title

Attitudes of Nursing Students Toward the Elderly As Influenced By Lecture-Discussion With and Without Simulation

Date of Award

1995

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

W. Lee Pierce

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

The general purpose of this study was to determine whether lecture-discussion or simulation is a more effective teaching strategy for changing attitudes of nursing students toward the elderly. In addition, the independent variables of age and previous contact with the elderly were examined for their predictive relationship to nursing students' attitudes toward the elderly. During the fall and spring semesters of the 1994-95 academic year, 98 associate degree nursing students participated in this experimental study. At the beginning of the semester, the researcher administered a demographic information form and the Kogan Old People Scale (KOP) as a pretest measure of attitude toward the elderly. During the first eight weeks of the course, all subjects received three hours of lecture concerning the aging process and health care needs of the elderly. The subjects were then randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. Both groups attended a two-hour follow-up session concerning attitudes toward aging. The follow-up session was presented to the experimental group with a simulation game entitled "Into Aging." The follow-up session was presented to the control group using lecture-discussion. During the last eight weeks of the course all subjects provided nursing care to elderly patients on acute care medical/surgical units. The KOP was administered as a posttest following teaching strategies and as a delayed posttest following clinical experiences. Statistical analysis revealed that, immediately following the teaching strategies, the simulation group did not differ significantly from the lecture-discussion group on attitudes toward the elderly. However, after eight weeks of clinical experiences, the simulation group showed significantly more positive attitudes toward the elderly than the lecture-discussion group. Neither age nor previous contact with the elderly was found to be significantly related to nursing students' attitudes toward the elderly. The findings of this study suggest that attitudes of nursing students toward the elderly can be positively influenced by using a simulation teaching strategy in conjunction with didactic and clinical experiences. Recommendations for practice and research are presented.