The effect of an integrated curricular design on the attitudes of nursing students toward the aged

Date of Completion

January 1990


Gerontology|Health Sciences, Nursing|Education, Curriculum and Instruction




An established baccalaureate nursing program with an integrated curricular design was the setting for the study of the effect of an integrated nursing program on the attitudes of nursing students toward the aged. The sample included 24 teaching faculty and 145 female nursing students in three academic levels of nursing courses.^ Employing Kogan's Old People Scale, Palmore's Facts on Aging Quiz, and an adapted version of the Rokeach's Value Survey, the author developed a questionnaire which was used to examine the effect of grade level on nursing students' attitude toward the aged over time. The Attitude Toward Aging Questionnaire (a combination of scales) developed for the study was administered at the beginning and end of the semester.^ Repeated Measure Analysis of Variance was applied to determine if a significant effect occurred. Five hypotheses were tested. The initial analysis revealed no significant difference among the groups with respect to pre-semester attitudes toward the aged. All subjects performed equally on the post-semester administration of the questionnaire. Analysis of the individual scales was more sensitive to the change over time and revealed a significantly higher score in the post-semester for the Kogan and Palmore scales with the sophomore group level showing the significant trend over time. A significant decrease in scores was observed during the same period for the Rokeach value scale.^ Review of the individual scales for differences between students' and faculty's scores showed significantly higher scores for faculty on all scales except the value survey. Comparisons of faculty with corresponding student groups were also investigated.^ The results suggest that an integrated approach to nursing education in gerontology provides an effective method for maintaining students' positive attitudes toward the aged. However, the findings also have implications that support the need for faculty development and in-service programs regarding the gerontological concepts that are integrated. ^