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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

Nurses' Attitudes Towards Obese Patients, in Upstate NY

The high obesity rates have increased the numbers of bariatric patients in the healthcare setting. Studies have shown that discrimination and the stigma surrounding this population exists amongst nurses and health professionals, which may affect their standard of care. The purpose of this research is to investigate nursesí attitudes and beliefs regarding obese patients. The study is exploratory, descriptive research. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by a sample group of 30 registered nurses, at Oneida City Hospital, Oneida, New York. The data collection instrument used was the Attitudes Toward Obese Persons Scale (ATOP). The ATOP is a 20 item 5 choice Likert type scale, where high scores reflect positive attitudes towards obesity. The participants for the study were 30 registered nurses selected from three, randomly chosen medical floors at a local hospital in upstate NY. Data will be entered into SPSS 19, and simple descriptive analyses (frequencies) will be conducted on the data. Based on the current research literature on the topic, it is expected that the attitude toward obese patients would be negative, including high levels of fat phobia. The increasing amount of persons who are overweight and obese have heightened the need to assure that nursesí attitudes and beliefs are unbiased and do not negatively impact patient care. Current and future nurses should have positive professional attitudes towards obese patients. Obesity needs to be adequately addressed in professional education in order to properly treat the obese patient, thus indicating the need for further research.

Presenter: Erica Nourse (SUNY Brockport) -- enou0813@brockport.edu
Topic: Health - Poster Session
Location: Edwards Hall Lobby
Time: 9 am (Session I)