Cross-cultural comparison of attitudes and preferences for care of the elderly among Australian and Chinese nursing students
Xiao, Lily Dongxia
Paterson, Janice Betty
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Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare Australian and Chinese nursing students’ attitudes and intentions to care for the elderly and the factors affecting these intentions. Method: A cross-sectional design employed two questionnaires to survey 256 Australian nursing students and 204 Chinese nursing students within the first weeks of their nursing curriculum. Factor analysis and logistical regression analysis were performed to identify predictors of intent to care for the elderly. Results: The percentage of students more likely to care for the elderly was significantly higher among the Chinese group (72.1%) than the Australian group (45.3%). Work experience with older people and being under the age of 20 were found to be positive predictors, whereas factors such as prejudice toward the elderly and beliefs that elders should live in separate housing were negatively associated with an intention to care for the elderly. Conclusions: The collectivist culture has a more positive influence on nursing students’ attitudes toward the elderly compared with the individualist culture. Implications for Research and Practice: It is highly recommended that elderly care settings should be incorporated in clinical placements and further research is needed to explore how clinical experience affects students’ career choice.