With the global trend towards an increasingly ageing population, it is clear that nurses need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to fulfil significant roles in responding to future health and support needs. This paper reports the results of a survey that aimed to identify and evaluate the attitudes of nurses, healthcare assistants, and nursing students towards older people. The survey was undertaken in a rural county in the Republic of Ireland. It is reassuring that in our study, we found that these healthcare workers hold positive attitudes towards older people. In addition, we found that study to a higher level at university appears to mitigate towards holding more positive attitudes, and this is an important finding in light of the shift towards nursing as an all-graduate profession. ,1 .2 and Siobhan O’Neill31Carndonagh Community Hospital, Donegal, Ireland2 School of Nursing, University of Ulster, Londonderry BT487JL, UK3Psychology Research Institute, University of Ulster, Northland Road, Londonderry BT487JL, UKCorrespondence should be addressed to Elizabeth A. Mitchell, firstname.lastname@example.orgReceived 9
Bibliographical noteReference text:  O. S¨oderhamn, C. Lindencrona, and S. M. Gustavsson,
“Attitudes toward older people among nursing students and
registered nurses in Sweden,” Nurse Education Today, vol. 21,
no. 3, pp. 225–229, 2001.
 R. Adelman, M. Greene, and R. Charon, “Issues in physicianelderly
patient interaction,” Ageing and Society, vol. 11, pp.
 S. Lookinland and K. Anson, “Perpetuation of ageist attitudes
among present and future health care personnel: implications
for elder care,” Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 21, no. 1, pp.
 M. Huber, B. Reno, and J. McKenney, “Long-term care
personnel assess their attitudes and knowledge of the older
adult,” Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 17, no. 9, pp. 1114–
 A. J. Tierney, S. J. Lewis, and J. Vallis, “Nurses’ knowledge and
attitudes towards older patients admitted to acute orthopaedic
wards,” Journal of Orthopaedic Nursing, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 67–75,
 S. Gallagher, K. M. Bennett, and J. C. Halford, “A comparison
of acute and long-term health-care personnel’s attitudes
towards older adults,” International Journal of Nursing Practice,
vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 273–279, 2006.
 B. K. Haight, M. A. Christ, and J. K. Dias, “Does nursing
education promote ageism?” Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol.
20, no. 2, pp. 382–390, 1994.
 C. L. Hartley, P. M. Bentz, and J. R. Ellis, “The effect of
early nursing home placement on student attitudes toward the
elderly,” The Journal of Nursing Education, vol. 34, no. 3, pp.
 R. Woolfe, “Therapists’ attitudes towards working with older
people,” Journal of SocialWork Practice, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 141–
 A. Ryan, V. Melby, and L. Mitchell, “An evaluation of the
effectiveness of an educational and experimental intervention
on nursing students’ attitudes towards older people,” International
Journal of Older People Nursing, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 93–101,
 K. W. Hope, “Nurses’ attitudes towards older people: a comparison
between nurses working in acute medical and acute
care of elderly patient settings,” Journal of Advanced Nursing,
vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 605–612, 1994.
 A. Pursey and K. Luker, “Attitudes and stereotypes: nurses’
work with older people,” Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 22,
no. 3, pp. 547–555, 1995.
 M. Nolan, S. Davis, and J. Brown, “Longitudinal study of the
effectiveness of educational preparation to meet the needs of
older people and carers,” Tech. Rep., University of Sheffield,
Sheffield, UK, 2002, Final Report to the English National
Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting.
 I.McLafferty and F.Morrison, “Attitudes towards hospitalized
older adults,” Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 47, no. 4, pp.
 J. Stevens and M. Crouch, “Who cares about care in nursing
education?” International Journal of Nursing Studies, vol. 32,
no. 3, pp. 233–242, 1995.
 P. Zimbardo andM. Leippe, The Psychology of Attitude Change
and Social Influence,McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, USA, 1991.
 R. Butler, Why survive? Being Old in America, Harper andRow,
New York, NY, USA, 1975.
 J. A. Vincent, G. Patterson, and K. Wale, Politics and Old Age:
Older Citizens and Political Processes in Britain, Ashgate,
Hampshire, UK, 2001.
 National Council On Ageing And Older People, “Age and
Attitudes,” Ageing in Ireland Fact File no. 3. Dublin: NCAOP,
 V. Minichiello, J. Browne, and H. Kendig, “Perceptions and
consequences of ageism: views of older people,” Ageing and
Society, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 253–278, 2000.
 National Council on Ageing andOlder People, “Perceptions of
Ageism in health and Social Services in Ireland,” Tech. Rep. 85,
NCAOP, Dublin, Ireland, 2005.
 N. Humphries, R. Brugha, and H. McGee, “Overseas nurse
recruitment: Ireland as an illustration of the dynamic nature
of nurse migration,” Health Policy, vol. 87, no. 2, pp. 264–272,
 J. Buchan and I. Seccombe, Worlds Apart? The UK and International
Nurses, RCN, London, UK, 2006.
 B. McCormack, “Person-centredness in gerontological nursing:
an overview of the literature,” Journal of Clinical Nursing,
vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 31–38, 2004.
 E. A. Mitchell and T. McCance, “Nurse-patient encounters
in the hospital ward, from the perspectives of older persons:
an analysis using the Authentic Consciousness Framework,”
International Journal of Older People Nursing, 2010.
 D. O’Neill, Leas Cross Report, 2006, http://www.hse.ie/eng/
services/Publications/services/Older/Leas Cross Report.html.
 Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, “Independent Inquiry
into care provided by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation
Trust January 2005–March 2009,” Tech. Rep., Mid Staffordshire
NHS Foundation Trust, January 2005, http://www.
 Alzheimer’s Society, Counting the Cost: Caring for People with
Dementia in HospitalWards, Alzheimer’s Society, London,UK,
 Central Statistics Office Ireland, Ageing in Ireland, 2007, http:
 Equality Authority/Health Service Executive, “Say No To
Ageism,” 2009, http://www.equality.ie/index.asp?docID=798.
 Health Service Executive, “Recognising and Responding to
Elder Abuse in residential Care Settings,” Trainee’s Information
Pack, 2008, www.hse.ie/eng/services/Publications/services/
 Health Service Executive, “Nursing Home Support Scheme:
a fair deal,” Department for Health and Children, Ireland,
2009, http://www.dohc.ie/issues/fair deal/ .
 N. Kogan, “Attitudes toward old people: the development of a
scale and an examination of correlates,” Journal of Abnormal
and Social Psychology, vol. 62, no. 1, pp. 44–54, 1961.
 E.McLafferty, “Developing a questionnaire to measure nurses’
attitudes towards hospitalised older people,” International
Journal of Older People Nursing, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 83–92, 2007.
 M. Iwasaki and J. A. Jones, “Attitudes toward older adults: a
reexamination of two major scales,” Gerontology and Geriatrics
Education, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 139–157, 2008.
 J. Palliant, SPSS Survival Manual: A Step by Step Guide to
Data Analysis using SPSS for Windows, Open University Press,
Melbourne, Australia, 3rd edition, 2007.
 G. Treharne, “Attitudes towards the care of elderly people: are
they getting better?” Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 15, no.
7, pp. 777–781, 1990.
 S.Hanafin, “The role of the Irish public health nurse:manager,
clinician, and health promoter,” Health Visitor, vol. 70, no. 8,
pp. 295–297, 1997.
- older adults
- healthcare workers