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Type: Journal article
Title: Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Older People: New Zealand Students Entering Health Professional Degrees
Author: Stewart, J.
Giles, L.
Paterson, J.
Butler, S.
Citation: Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics: current trends in geriatric rehabilitation, 2005; 23(4):25-36
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Issue Date: 2005
ISSN: 0270-3181
Statement of
Jenny J. Stewart, Lynne Giles, Janis E. Paterson and Sarnia J. Butler
Abstract: The knowledge and attitudes of health professionals towards older adults can have a significant impact on quality of health care. This study compared the knowledge of aging and attitudes towards older people held by students entering nursing, occupational therapy and physiotherapy education. Participants (n = 213) completed a questionnaire that consisted of the Kogan Scale concerning attitudes towards older people, Palmore's Facts on Aging Quiz Version 1 along with questions concerning social interaction with older people and demographic information. There were no differences in attitudinal scores or knowledge across the three student groups. This finding also held after controlling for age, gender, and prior work experience with older people. Analysis of the total sample in relation to the effect of social contact and age on knowledge and attitudes, indicated that those having more than monthly contact with older people had significantly less negative bias and less overall bias on the Facts on Aging Quiz. Similarly students 25 years and older had significantly higher attitudinal scores and greater positive bias on the Facts on Aging Quiz. An emphasis on innovative learning experiences that are introduced early in academic programmes may influence students' understanding, thinking, and attitudes towards older adults, so they are better prepared to meet the health care needs of this population.
Keywords: Ageism
occupational therapy
knowledge of ageing
DOI: 10.1300/J148v23n04_02
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Obstetrics and Gynaecology publications

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