Aim. To identify and describe Korean nurses' attitudes towards older people with dementia in acute care settings and to examine the effect of selected socio-demographics and nursing work characteristics on attitudes. Background. In Korea, older people receive health care services in acute care settings because long-term care settings are not the norm. Culturally, it is considered shameful to place parents or relatives in a long-term care facility. Design. A descriptive survey design. Method. Attitudes towards older people with dementia were measured in Korean registered nurses (n = 100) working in acute care settings of two hospitals in southern Korea in 2009. The Attitudes toward the Elderly with Dementia (AED) and the Approaches to Dementia Questionire (ADQ) were administered to participants. Results. Moderately positive attitudes towards older people with dementia in the acute care setting were found. Two-thirds of the nurse participants (n = 65, 65.7%) working in medical wards demonstrated significantly more positive attitudes than those working in surgical wards (n = 34, 34.3%). Demographics including years of experience in the current unit and in the service, and nurses' position did not correlate significantly with their attitudes. Conclusion. The environment, work routine and technology may influence the likelihood of negative attitude towards people with dementia.
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