Integration of disability-related content in nursing curricula.

Despite evidence that health care professionals, including nurses, do not perceive persons with disabilities in a positive light and fail to attend to their health care needs, it is not known how nursing programs address the topic of disability. This descriptive study was conducted to examine the extent to which schools of nursing in the United States address disability-related issues and the strategies used to integrate disability-related content in their curricula. A 27-item investigator-developed survey was sent to a national stratified random sample of 1,000 schools of nursing. Questions pertained to curricular content, specific groups of persons with disabilities, and teaching methods and resources used to teach nursing students about disability. Respondents indicated that they included some content related to disability in their curricula. Nursing textbooks were the most common source of information used. Barriers to including disability-related content were lack of time and lack of faculty interest or expertise. These findings can serve as a stimulus to increase the extent and breadth of disability-related issues in nursing curricula.