Using the Relating to Older People Evaluation tool to measure ageism in higher education
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Using the Relating to Older People Evaluation tool to measure ageism in higher education

Camille Cronin , Senior lecturer, School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex, Southend Campus, Southend-on-Sea, England
Joanne Brooke , Professor and director, Centre for Social Care, Health and Related Research, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, England

Background The global population is ageing and this trend is expected to continue. Attitudes towards older people differ worldwide. Ageism is a complex, multifaceted concept that includes attitudes and behaviours. In the UK, ageism and discriminatory practices exist in nursing, and educationalists and clinicians need to address ageist attitudes and promote the care of older people. In nursing there is a lack of synthesised evidence measuring ageism among nursing students.

Aim To explore the use of the Relating to Older People Evaluation (ROPE) questionnaire in different student populations in higher education, including nursing students.

Method A systematic search was conducted for articles written in English describing the use of ROPE, published between 2007 and 2017. Six quantitative studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria. Statistical analysis was not possible and a thematic analysis of these studies was completed.

Findings Two themes emerged: attitudes predict behaviour and socialisation to ageism in higher education. Ageist attitudes were correlated with negative ageist behaviours and the socialisation of nursing students in clinical practice increased ageist attitudes.

Conclusion Ageism and the ageist attitudes of nursing students must continue to be explored. ROPE is a suitable tool to measure nursing students’ ageist attitudes and behaviours.

Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2019.e1127

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Cronin C, Brooke J (2019) Using the Relating to Older People Evaluation tool to measure ageism in higher education. Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2019.e1127

Published online: 15 May 2019

Want to read more?

Already have access? Log in


3-month trial offer for £5.25/month

Subscribe today and save 50% on your first three months
RCNi Plus users have full access to the following benefits:
  • Unlimited access to all 10 RCNi Journals
  • RCNi Learning featuring over 175 modules to easily earn CPD time
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Revalidation Portfolio to stay on track with your progress
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
  • A customisable dashboard with over 200 topics

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now

Are you a student? Our student subscription has content especially for you.
Find out more