Dental hygiene students' perceptions of older adults

Academic Article


  • Geriatric education is an important component of the dental hygiene curriculum because, in it, students acquire skills and attitudes to help provide quality care to older adults. The purpose of this study was to determine if off-site exposure to nursing home residents with supervised oversight had the potential to improve dental hygiene students' attitudes toward older adults. Senior dental hygiene students at one school completed a pre-nursing home experience questionnaire. A series of geriatric lectures and discussions, which included discussions about students' anxieties of working with institutionalized older adults, were held prior to the nursing home experience. The students then participated in two supervised four-hour nursing home experiences, were debriefed after the experiences, and completed a second questionnaire. Of thirty-nine potential participants in the study, thirty-two took part in the pre-nursing home experience questionnaire (82.1 percent). They had a mean split Fabroni score of 34.2 (95 percent confidence interval: 32.2, 36.3). The thirty participants in the post-experience questionnaire (76.9 percent of total) had a mean split score of 32.7 (95 percent confidence interval: 30.1, 35.3). This study failed to reject the null hypothesis of no mean difference between the pre- and post-nursing home experience; however, the post-experience mean score was lower than the prenursing home experience mean score, indicating a more positive attitude toward older adults after the experience.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Author List

  • Wiener RC; Shockey AT; Long DL
  • Start Page

  • 1623
  • End Page

  • 1628
  • Volume

  • 78
  • Issue

  • 12