Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing


Historically, older adults have not been viewed as being suitable targets for health-promotion efforts. Nurses are beginning to question the reasons for this view and to change their practice with respect to older adults in the community. However, nurses appear to be more passive in promoting the health of residents in long-term care (LTC) facilities. The purpose of this study was to determine by quantitative methods the effect an educational intervention had on the implementation of, written policies for, and director of nurse (DON) knowledge of health screening practices in LTC facilities in South Dakota. The health screening practices examined were prostate-specific antigen testing, manual prostate examination, breast self-examination, clinical breast examination, and mammography. A quasi-experimental pretest/posttest design was used. A nonprobability sample of 41 LTC facility DON s was sent a pretest questionnaire regarding their knowledge of American Cancer Society guidelines of the screening practices, written policies for the screening practices in the L TC facility, and implementation of the screening practices in the LTC facility. Thirty (n=30) DONs completed and returned the questionnaire. This group was randomly divided into a control group (n=15) and intervention group (n= 15). The intervention group was sent an educational videotape on the screening practices. The control group received no educational videotape. Three months after the study, the DONs in both groups received a posttest questionnaire. Results of the two groups were analyzed using Chi Square testing. Demographic relationships were examined using biserial correlation and Chi Square testing. Of statistical significance was an inverse relationship between DON years of experience and knowledge of BSE guidelines (r= -.367, p=.05). Approaching statistical significance was an inverse relationship between DON age and implementation of mammography in LTC facilities (r= -.336, p=.07). The small sample size hindered statistical analysis of the data. The data did indicate areas of clinical significance. The study results supported the literature that health screenings are not being adequately implemented for residents in L TC facilities. Further research is needed to determine the cause and to correct the problem of insufficient implementation of health screening practices for residents in LTC facilities.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Preventive health services for older people -- South Dakota Health education -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University