A reproduction of a work of art by the Swedish artist Lena Cronquist was introduced into clinical practice in student nurse education. Student nurses (n = 366) in a first semester course served as the study population, and the study was undertaken at two university colleges of health sciences in Sweden. The students studied the painting from the point of view of a situation that depicted an elderly woman in a sickbed. The study findings implied a valuable learning situation in which the students perceived aging in a sensitive and nuanced manner.
Theories exist to challenge current practice, create new approaches to practice and remodel the structure of rules and principles. One question is whether nurses could find in psychosocial theories of ageing a theoretical foundation on which to base support of older people in their ageing process.
The aim of the present paper was to analyse five psychosocial theories of ageing and to discover what they could mean for gerontological nursing in Sweden.
A literature search was conducted to find original works. Research questions inspired by Fawcett's framework guided the analysis.
Psychosocial theories of ageing cover different aspects of the ageing process, but do not address crucial issues regarding the attitudes and structure of good nursing care. These theories provide no clear guidance on how to care for older people and how to support them in their ageing process. However, the analysis did show that the theories contain underlying values that influence society and staff as regards their views on the ageing process and how care of older people should be carried out. Nursing interventions to support ageing will be quite different depending on the theoretical perspective taken by nurses.
There is a need to translate the ageing theories into guidelines, so that staff in gerontological care will have tools to use in practice irrespective of which theoretical perspective they choose to use in care. This could also promote care that is tailored to each individual older person.
With the predicted increase in the age of Canada's overall population, it is estimated that by 2020, up to 75% of nurses' time will be spent with older adults. It is recognized that care of older adults occurs in a cultural context in which the older members of society are poorly valued, often referred to as ageism. Based on the premise that attitudes affect behavior and knowledge acquisition, a comparative cross-sectional study using the Attitudes Toward Old People scale measured nursing students' attitudes at different points in a baccalaureate nursing program. Although analysis of variance revealed no significant differences in students' attitudes during the 4 years, post hoc analysis revealed a drop in positive attitudes and a rise in negative attitudes at the beginning of the second and fourth years of the baccalaureate program.
Geriatric nursing is generally not considered to be a popular branch of nursing among Swedish nursing students and registered nurses. It is, therefore, important for nurse educators and others with responsibilities for the development of nursing to pay attention to trends of importance for the care of the elderly. Attitudes - conceptualized as feelings, knowledge, and readiness to act - may be one important factor. It has been reported that feelings toward older people may change with experience, age and gender. The aim of this study was to measure feelings toward older people among nursing students and registered nurses. A convenience sample of 151 undergraduate nursing students and 41 registered nurses in Sweden participated in the study. Data were collected through Kogan's Old People scale. The results confirmed earlier findings and showed that limited previous experience of care of older people, age