Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Mary Alice Hodge

Abstract

All Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses who work in CICU, MSICU, NTICU and 7N .The attitudes of these nurses regarding obesity and the obese patients were measured. Objectives. To determine if there is a bias against obese patients in the health care setting and if further education is needed. Methods. Likert scale survey, modified from the NATOOPS survey (with permission) was sent electronically to each nurse and when completed transmitted to a data base where results were tabulated. Results. Among the 51 respondents, 60% had 4 years of college or more. Years in nursing ranged from 0-47.Age of nurse 23-69.The nurses were consistent regarding care to the obese patient. Treatment given was the same as that given to a normal weight patient. Lack of equipment to help nurses with obese patients was a common thread. Education of staff and patients were the biggest issues. Respondents who had obesity training had lower scores and respondents with higher education had lower scores which did reach a statistically significant difference. r=-0.29 (p=0.0447) Correlation was made that nurses with higher education had lower scores regarding obesity. Thus a bias is present in the nurses' attitude toward the obese patient. Conclusion. There is a bias against obesity in the healthcare field. More education is needed. Future research utilizing a qualitative study regarding the nurse and obese patient would be beneficial.

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