Online Program

Attitudes toward the elderly: A comparison of Turkish and American undergraduate nursing students

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A. Serdar Atav, PhD, Decker School of Nursing, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
Rosa D. Darling, PhD, RNC-NIC, Decker School of Nursing, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
Merdiye Sendir, RN, MS, PhD, Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Istanbul University, Sisli - Istanbul, Turkey
Since 1980, the worldwide elderly population has doubled. By 2050, it is projected to reach 2 billion, with 400 million aged 80 or older. The explosion in the elderly population is no longer a phenomenon of the wealthier nations; it is occurring in developing nations around the globe as well. Health care institutions and personnel are not prepared to meet the growing needs of this population. Nursing shortages are a global problem exacerbating this crisis. It is important that nursing students are not influenced by negative stereotypes associated with the elderly. This study compares the attitudes of Turkish and American undergraduate nursing students toward the elderly. Using Kogan's Attitudes Toward Older People (KAOP) scale, undergraduate students in the largest four-year nursing school in Istanbul, Turkey and in a four-year university in Upstate New York were surveyed. KAOP has been used in many different contexts and countries and is considered a valid and reliable instrument.

This presentation will include descriptive analyses of the comparisons of the two cohorts of undergraduate nursing students with respect to their attitudes. In addition, relationships between attitudes and a number of demographic characteristics of the subjects will be explored. Such demographic factors include gender, age, family background, exposure to the elderly, and location of residence.

Based on the outcomes of this study, recommendations will be provided for curricular changes in both countries. Such interventions may lead to a new generation of nurses who are more inclined to work with this vulnerable population.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Compare differences in nursing student attitudes toward elders in Turkey and Upstate NY. Describe the relationships between demographic indicators and nursing student attitudes toward elders. Discuss applicable curricular changes that may improve nursing students’ perceptions of elder care.

Keyword(s): Aging, International

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked in nursing research and health policy for the last 30 years with numerous publications and presentation. I have conducted this study in collaboration with my colleagues in Turkey and the US.
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.