The prevalence of depressive symptoms among older residents in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) is high. Nurses are the main healthcare providers in LTCFs and also the persons responsible for detecting changes in residents' mental function and providing subsequent care. Therefore, it is necessary to understand nurses' knowledge, attitudes, and confidence regarding care for older residents with depressive symptoms or depression. This study aimed to understand nurses' level of knowledge of late-life depression, attitudes towards depression, and confidence levels in caring for older adults with depressive symptoms or depression in LTCFs. A cross-sectional descriptive and correlational research design was used. A nationwide self-report survey was conducted in 2016. Ultimately, 556 valid questionnaires were returned. The study found that LTCF nurses' knowledge about late-life depression was poor, and they also lacked confidence in managing and caring for older persons with depressive symptoms or depression, but nurses' attitudes towards depression were neutral or slightly positive. Moreover, nurses who had greater confidence in providing care for older persons with depression were those with more positive attitudes towards depression, a greater interest level in taking care of older adults with depression, less late-life depression knowledge, longer nursing experience in LTCFs, and a greater interest level in late-life depression issues, and who had read late-life depression pamphlets or taken courses or classes in late-life depression. The findings suggest an urgent need to develop strategies to improve nurses' late-life depression knowledge and increase their confidence in providing care to older residents with depressive symptoms or depression.
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