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Keywords

dementia, dementia attitudes, nursing students, self-confidence, Virtual Dementia Tour

 

Authors

  1. Kimzey, Michelle PhD, RN
  2. Mastel-Smith, Beth PhD, RN
  3. Seale, Ashlie MSN, RN-BC

Abstract

Background: The numbers of people living with dementia are overwhelming. Dementia education is important to prepare nursing students to care for this population.

 

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a virtual dementia experience on nursing students' attitudes and empathy for people with dementia, dementia knowledge, and self-confidence for dementia care.

 

Methods: The design was a 2-group, pretest-posttest using a convenience sample of undergraduate nursing students (n = 112). The intervention group (n = 56) participated in a virtual dementia experience.

 

Results: Both groups experienced improved attitudes toward people with dementia, increased dementia knowledge, improved self-confidence for dementia care, and improved empathy (Perspective Taking). However, the virtual dementia experience did not lead to improved outcomes compared to the standard teaching approaches.

 

Conclusions: Dementia-specific education had a significant influence on students' attitudes, knowledge, self-confidence, and empathy, whereas the type of education did not impact outcomes.