Developing a questionnaire to measure nurses' attitudes towards hospitalized older people

Isabella McLafferty

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    A number of studies have used generic measures to evaluate nurses’ attitudes toward hospitalized older people. Those measures do not consider the context in which nurses meet older people and the influence that this may have on nurses’ attitudes. The aims and objectives of the study were to develop a questionnaire from focus group data to evaluate nurses’ attitudes towards hospitalized older people. To evaluate the psychometric properties of the questionnaire the design included a qualitative and quantitative phase. The method used for the qualitative phase was focus group interviews with the intention of identifying the phenomena that may indicate nurses’ attitudes towards older people. The quantitative phase included the development and psychometric testing of an attitudinal questionnaire. Samples for the qualitative phase included Registered Nurses from the care of older people setting; Registered Nurses from the acute setting; nursing students and nurse teachers. The sample for the quantitative phase included nursing students (numbering 355). Ten themes were identified through thematic analysis. Eighty items were extrapolated from the qualitative analysis and used to formulate a questionnaire which was then distributed to the nursing students. On analysis, the reliability was 0.78. Further analysis using Principal Components Analysis (P.C.A.) with orthogonal rotation indicated that 45 items loaded on to eight factors. Results of the quantitative analysis indicated that there was a strong correlation between the thematic analysis and the P.C.A. The results would suggest that there may be important and relevant domains that are worthy of further study into nurses’ attitudes towards older people. If the domains identified are useful for identifying negative attitudes towards older people, then strategies can be implemented to try and reduce negative attitudes in clinical practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)83-92
    Number of pages10
    JournalInternational Journal of Older People Nursing
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


    • Attitudinal questionnaire
    • Focus groups
    • Nurses’ attitudes
    • Older people
    • Principal components analysis


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