Thursday, July 12, 2007
This presentation is part of : Acute Care Outcomes
Healthcare Providers' Practice, Knowledge and Opinions Attitudes about the Elderly: Further Validation of Older Patients in Acute Care Survey (OPACS)
Paula L. Graham, MS, RN, CNS, Information Systems, Phelps Memorial Hospital Center, Sleepy Hollow, NY, USA, Christine Malmgreen, MA, RN-BC, CHES, Nursing administration, HUdson Valley Hospital Center, Cortlandt Manor, NY, USA, Rebecca Schnall, MPH, MBA, BSN, TN, School of Nursing, Columbia University, New York City, NY, USA, Lillie M. Shortridge-Baggett, RN, EdD, FAAN, FNAP, Graduate Studies in Nursing, Pace University, Pleasantville, NY, USA, Mary Courtney, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, and Anne M. Walsh, MHSc, RN, School of Nursing, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
Learning Objective #1: Assess the psychometric properties of a tool to measure practice, knowledge and opinions about the elderly.
Learning Objective #2: Describe the tool’s use in evaluating the effectiveness of training programs for nurses and other healthcare workers who provide acute care to the elderly.

The population worldwide is aging, resulting in increased use of acute care services.  The total numbers of Americans over age 65, for example, will double to over 70 million within this generation, while the population over age 85 will increase nearly five-fold. Older adults use more health care services than any other age group and have unique health challenges, different from younger adults. There is often a gap between healthcare providers’ practice, knowledge and opinions that is essential for high quality care for the elderly. This study assessed the psychometric properties of the Australian Older Patients in Acute Care Survey (OPACS) for its validity with a USA population. It was reviewed by focus groups of practicing nurses and then re-evaluated by a panel of experts in geriatric practice in the USA. The reliability for the internal consistency was assessed after administering the survey to nurses (N=45) working in an acute care setting with elderly (65 or older) patients.  Summary statistics along each dimension will be presented. The reliability of using the Australian tool with an American population was assessed. Statistical analysis revealed a Cronbach’s alpha for two scales: Practice Experience was 0.888 and General Opinion/Knowledge 0.904. Further psychometric testing of this tool in another facility is in progress.  These results will be available for presentation at the conference. This study provides information on the underlying survey instrument addressing such issues as format, clarity, instructions, administration and the validity of the practice, knowledge and opinion domains of nurses practicing in acute care.  In addition, this study will provide a contribution to the emerging need for targeted educational programs for nurses and other healthcare workers who provide care to the elderly in acute care settings.  These surveys will function as important pre-test/post-test tools to assess the effectiveness of these training programs.