Relationship Between Gerontological Nursing Education and Attitude Toward Older People

Mei Hua Kerry Hsu, Man Ho Ling, Tai Lok Lui


Journal Information.

Nurse Education Today 2019;74:85-90



Background: Nursing students' attitudes toward older people affect the quality of care provided to the aging population. Although gerontological nursing has been delivered as a stand-alone course in Macao since 2008, Macao nursing students' attitudes toward older people have not been investigated.


Objective: The purposes of this study were 1) to explore nursing students' background information and attitudes toward older people and 2) to examine the presence of relationships between these factors and gerontological nursing education in Macao, a special administrative region of China.


Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was adopted. Nursing students in Macao were invited to complete a questionnaire to record their demographic characteristics and gerontological nursing education and measure their attitudes toward older people using Kogan's Attitudes Toward Older People (KAOP) scale.


Results: Data from 377 (83.04%) nursing students who returned the questionnaire were analyzed. The students were found to have positive attitudes toward older people, with a mean KAOP score of 168.44 ± 18.38 (mean ± standard deviation). In particular, the item with the lowest mean score was “older adults have excessive demands for love” (2.5 ± 1.2), while the item with the highest mean score was “older adults need no more love than others” (6.0 ± 1.0). The results also revealed that Macao nursing students' positive attitudes toward older people were associated with having “religion,” “good experience in gerontological nursing taught course,” and “good experience in clinical practice with older people,” which were thus considered to be the predictors of their positive attitudes toward older people.


Conclusion: Religion and gerontological nursing education are associated with Macao nursing students' attitudes toward older people. A longitudinal study is needed to evaluate the gradual changes in nursing students' attitudes. Nursing students' future career choices and perceptions of gerontological nursing education should be explored in a future study.



Nursing student; Gerontological nursing; Kogan's attitudes toward older people (KAOP) scale

© 2019 Macao Polytechnic Institute

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