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Title: The nurses' attitudes towards care of residents suffering from dementia
Authors: Grima, Daniel
Keywords: Nurses -- Attitudes
Attitude (Psychology)
Nurse and patient
Old age homes
Issue Date: 2012
Citation: Grima, D. (2012). The nurses' attitudes towards care of residents suffering from dementia (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: Due to improvements in health services and technological advances more individuals are living to an older age. In Malta at present, about 14% of the population are over sixty five years (National Statistic Office, 2009). Although dementia is not part of the aging process one of the major health problems related to old age is the increase in prevalence of dementia. In contrast there is a dearth in literature both foreign and especially locally which deal with nurses attitudes to these patients. This issue is of importance as attitudes are linked to behaviour and may influence the quality of interaction between the nurse as a professional and the person with dementia. The aim of the present research study was to investigate nurses' attitudes towards the care of patients with dementia. The objectives included determining whether caring for such a patient is a positive and a meaningful experience for themselves; whether such care should be provided at home or in a geriatric institution and whether nurses' attitudes vary significantly by their age, and gender. The present author utilized an exploratory inferential cross-sectional research design. Data was collected by means of a questionnaire constructed by Sture Astrom for his doctoral thesis. The tool was provided to the whole accessible population (n=60) of nurses working in geriatric wards. Fifty six questionnaires were returned rendering a response rate of 93.3%. Data findings revealed that nurses working in geriatric wards did not hold strongly positive attitudes towards persons with dementia. Results in this study generally concur with similar studies carried out abroad which also revealed the lack of positive attitudes. However 91.1% of the sample indicated that they have positive attitudes but would prefer not to have these patients in their ward. This could arise as most respondents perceived patients as aggressive and difficult to communicate and emotionally connect with. Additionally caring for these patients is not considered a high status job. The participants in general felt that these patients should not be cared for at home and that relatives should be given the opportunity to be involved in nursing care. A significant difference in nurses attitudes was obtained by gender (F = 5.93, p = 0.04) and age (F = 10.48, p = 0.04) with younger participants (21 - 30 years of age) and males feeling that it is just as meaningful to work in a residential aged care facility as in an acute care facility. This dissertation helped identify the need to better prepare nurses academically regarding care for clients suffering from dementia. This study concludes with further recommendations regarding both research and clinical practice in an attempt to address the present situation and ways of improving it.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacHSc - 2012
Dissertations - FacHScMH - 2012

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