Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2021

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Carole South-Winter

Second Advisor

Matthew Heard

Third Advisor

Beate Wone


Empathy, Burnout, Healthcare, Quality of Care, Healthcare Team, Occupational Stress

Subject Categories

Health and Medical Administration


The correlation between provider empathy and the quality of patient care is strong (Hojat, 2016). Provider bias, whether conscious or unconscious, can be detrimental for patients, particularly for vulnerable geriatric populations. This population is especially vulnerable due to the ailments that often accompany age such as diabetic neuropathy, glaucoma, hearing loss, tinnitus, cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa, and illnesses that affect mobility. The Aging Awareness Activity was created to help future healthcare providers understand the difficulties facing the geriatric population. Using hands-on tools to simulate hearing, visual, dexterity, and movement impairments allows for participants to practice activities of daily living with impairment like how a significantly aged adult would. Over 250 healthcare professional students were surveyed before and after completing the Aging Awareness Activity to determine if our activity increased empathy towards the aging population. The results of this survey concluded that this activity heightened awareness and helped introduce or reinforce the knowledge of geriatric struggles. The hope is that providing this type of hands-on experience will increase empathy towards the geriatric population and thus maintain or increase the quality of care for this vulnerable population by educating future healthcare providers.



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