The numbers of people living with dementia are overwhelming. Dementia education is important to prepare nursing students to care for this population.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a virtual dementia experience on nursing students' attitudes and empathy for people with dementia, dementia knowledge, and self-confidence for dementia care.
The design was a 2-group, pretest-posttest using a convenience sample of undergraduate nursing students (n = 112). The intervention group (n = 56) participated in a virtual dementia experience.
Both groups experienced improved attitudes toward people with dementia, increased dementia knowledge, improved self-confidence for dementia care, and improved empathy (Perspective Taking). However, the virtual dementia experience did not lead to improved outcomes compared to the standard teaching approaches.
Dementia-specific education had a significant influence on students' attitudes, knowledge, self-confidence, and empathy, whereas the type of education did not impact outcomes.