Nurses' Attitudes Towards Gerontology Care : A Scoping Review Hickey, Stormee
A nursing workforce able to care for our aging population is critical for ensuring quality gerontology care. Nurses’ attitudes towards caring for older adults has been shown to influence nurses’ decisions to pursue a career in gerontology care in addition to influencing quality of care provided to this population. A multitude of studies have examined nurses’ attitudes towards older adults but few have been conducted that examine registered nurses’ attitudes towards caring for older patients. Therefore, the primary purpose of this scoping review was to examine nurses’ attitudes towards caring for older adults. The secondary purpose was to identify factors contributing to nurses’ attitudes towards caring for older adults. Searches were conducted utilizing CINAHL and MEDLINE databases using controlled and open vocabulary. Primary research conducted between 2005 and 2015 pertaining to the research topic was included in this review. A total of eight studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria of this scoping review and were included in this paper. This scoping review revealed the complexity of nurses’ attitudes towards caring for older adults with mixed positive and negative attitudes emerging. Factors identified as contributing to nurses’ attitudes towards gerontology care included work environment, nursing experience, nurse demographics, culture, and education. The factors identified were complex and at times inconsistent between studies included in this review. Additional research is needed to confirm the relationship between factors such as gender, living situation, culture, work environment and the impact on nurses’ attitudes towards caring for older adults. Implications for nursing practice, research, and education that warrant urgent consideration on behalf of healthcare stakeholders are discussed. Future research to better understand how nurses’ attitudes towards caring for older adults may be positively influenced is necessary for ensuring quality patient care for an aging population.
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