Pharmacy Practice Faculty Publications

Title

Impact of the Geriatric Medication Game® on Nursing Students' Empathy and Attitudes Toward Older Adults

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2015

Journal Title

Nurse Education Today

ISSN

1532-2793

Volume

35

Issue

1

First Page

38

Last Page

43

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2014.05.005

PubMed ID

24912741

PubMed Central® ID

PMC4250437

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Nurses should be well-prepared to improve and address health-related needs of older adults, but students may have difficulty understanding and empathizing, as they may not yet have personally experienced aging-related challenges. Simulation games can be used to help students understand the experiences of others, but limited information is available on the impact of simulation experiences on student empathy.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to examine the impact of participation in an aging simulation game on nursing students' empathy and attitudes toward older adults as well as their understanding of patients' experiences in the healthcare system.

DESIGN: This study used a quasi-experimental, pretest-posttest design.

SETTING: A school of nursing in the Midwestern United States.

PARTICIPANTS: The convenience sample included 58 sophomore-level baccalaureate nursing students.

METHODS: Students played the role of an older adult during a 3-hour laboratory aging simulation game, the Geriatric Medication Game® (GMG). Students completed the (1) Kiersma-Chen Empathy Scale (KCES, 15 items, 7-point Likert-type), (2) Jefferson Scale of Empathy-Health Professions Students (JSE-HPS, 20 items, 7-point Likert-type), and (3) Aging Simulation Experience Survey (13 items, 7-point Likert-type) pre- and post-game to assess study objectives. Descriptive statistics and paired t-tests were performed in SPSS v.21.0, as the data were normally distributed.

RESULTS: Students' empathy (N=58) toward older adults significantly improved overall (KCES p=0.015, JSE-HPS p

CONCLUSIONS: Students may not be aware of older adults' feelings and experiences prior to experiencing aging-related changes themselves. Simulation activities, such as the GMG, can be a useful mechanism for addressing empathy and caring during student education.

Keywords

Attitude, empathy, geriatrics, nursing student, Geriatric Medication Game®, elderly, older adults