Knowledge and Views of Nursing Students on Alzheimer Disease

Introduction: The steady increase in the number of people living and dying with dementia, combined with recent emphasis on quality of care accentuate the importance of dementia training for health care professionals. Nursing students from abroad describe the care of patients with dementia as quite difficult and many of them indicate that they are inadequately prepared regarding the knowledge and interpersonal skills required to care for these patients. Aim: To compare the level of knowledge of first and fourth year students of the Department of Nursing of the Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki and to record their views and attitudes about patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 120 first and fourth year nursing students, 28 male and 92 female, aged 18-27 years, average 21.1 years. A 21 item questionnaire was constructed for the study by adapting and adjusting three validated international questionnaires (Carrie Hill’s Alzheimer quiz II, quiz Alzheimer, and Riverside Mayo Clinic Staff Alzheimer quiz). Data collection was performed during May and June, 2013. The variables of the study were nominal and ordinal and the results are presented in absolute (n, number of observations) and correlational (%, percentage) frequencies. The x2test was used for the analysis of categorical variables. Results: Correct answers on the symptoms of the disease were given by 85% of the fourth year students, but only 57% of the first year students (p<0.05). A small percentage of students (17.5%, n=21) reported having an immediate family member suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. A statistically significant difference (p<0.05) was observed in the identification of the loss of cognitive ability as a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease between students with and those without personal care experience. Conclusions: Although Alzheimer’s disease is a contemporary global disease of alarming proportions, it does not appear to be of prominent importance in the learning interests of student nurses, who appear to lack knowledge and to be relatively biased against these patients. A substantial difference in knowledge was observed between first and fourth year students, but there is clear room for improvement.

Category: Volume 54, N 3
Hits: 50 Hits
Created Date: 15-09-2015
Authors: Dimitrios Theofanidis , Sotirios Τozios