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J Contin Educ Nurs. 2008 Dec;39(12):547-54.

Nurses' knowledge, attitudes, and confidence regarding preventing and treating deconditioning in older adults.

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  • 1St. Francis Xavier University School of Nursing, West Street Entrance, Antigosh, NS, B2G 2W5 Canada.



This article examines nurses' knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and confidence regarding providing care to prevent and treat deconditioning in hospitalized older adults.


Data were collected from 157 registered nurses enrolled in a post-registered nurse, bachelor of science in nursing program using a descriptive cross-sectional survey.


Nurses' responses reflected substantial gaps in their knowledge and theoretical understanding of deconditioning, and a strong belief in the need for more education on the prevention of it. Levels of confidence in preventing deconditioning in older adults were modest, but participants expressed positive attitudes toward nurses' role in deconditioning care. Barriers to deconditioning care included lack of education, low staffing levels, and a lack of valuing prevention efforts.


This study suggests that it is important to establish gerontology continuing education programs with a core component on deconditioning treatment and prevention to enhance nurses' knowledge and confidence levels in providing care to older adults.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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