Changes in Weight Bias After Simulation in Pre-License Baccalaureate Nursing Students

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Aim: The purpose of this study was to evaluate weight bias in baccalaureate nursing students before and after introduction to a communication tool and simulation experience.

Methods: A single group pretest-posttest parallel convergent mixed-methods design was used. First semester baccalaureate nursing students within one school of nursing were the participants. The survey included the Fat-Phobia Scale, the Beliefs About Obese Persons scale, and open-ended questions. Findings were triangulated under the Theory of Cultural Humility.

Results: Statistically significant changes were found in elements of both scales and qualitative analysis uncovered an overall planned change in approach when working with patients with obesity. Students’ attitudes trended towards positive attributes, individualized patient-centered care, and cultural humility.

Discussion: Purposeful education on communication in addition to diverse patient scenarios in simulation may be effective tools to increase cultural humility and decrease bias in nursing students.