• Visual Perceptions of Ageing; A Longitudinal Mixed Methods Study of UK Undergraduate Student Nurses’ Attitudes and Perceptions Towards Older People.

      Ridgway, Victoria; Mason-Whitehead, Elizabeth; Mcintosh-Scott, Annette; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2018-09-11)
      Ageism and negative attitudes are said to be institutionally embedded in healthcare during a time when there are unprecedented increases in older population numbers. As nurses’ care for older people in a range of environments it was timely to examine attitudes and perceptions of undergraduate nurses towards older people. A longitudinal mixed methods study in conjunction with a three-year undergraduate UK nursing programme 2009-2012 was conducted with 310 undergraduate nurses. A questionnaire incorporating Kogan’s attitude towards older people scale and a drawing of a person aged 75 years was completed three times, once each year. Thurstone scale and photo elicitation were also employed. Comparisons were made between individual participant’s attitude score and drawing. The study established 75% of participants had moderately positive attitudes towards older people when the programme began, at the programme end this had increased to 98%. Age, gender, educational qualifications, practice learning, nursing field and contact with older people influenced participants’ overall attitude score. Drawings provided a visual narrative of participants’ perceptions of older people, appearance was a dominant discourse and the images were socially constructed. The study established the undergraduate nursing programme influenced attitudes and perceptions towards older people and suggests nurse education can influence changing attitudes. To date there is no known study that has advanced this understanding.