Nurses' attitudes towards older people: A systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The population is ageing globally. Older people are more likely to have chronic diseases and disabilities and have contact with health services. Attitudes of healthcare professionals affect the quality of care provided and individual career preferences.

To examine the international research relating to registered and student nurses’ attitudes towards older people and the potential underpinning variables.

A systematic search of 8 databases covering English and Chinese language publications since 2000 was undertaken which identified 25 papers.

Reported attitudes towards older people were inconsistent with positive, negative and neutral attitudes being noted across registered and student nurses and appear to be slightly less positive since 2000. A range of variables have been examined as potential predictors of nurses’ attitudes with age, gender and education level being investigated most frequently but none were consistent predictors. Preference to work with older people and knowledge of ageing appeared to be associated with positive attitudes towards older people.

There is a growing need for registered nurses committed to working with older people, however, there is a dearth of well designed studies which investigate both the attitudes of registered and student nurses and the associated factors, and test interventions to inform workforce strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1271-1282
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Issue number9
Early online date22 Dec 2012
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


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