• Vol. 38 No. 3, 230–236
  • 15 March 2009

Taiwanese Medical and Nursing Student Interest Levels in and Attitudes Towards Geriatrics

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ABSTRACT

Introduction: To investigate the attitudes of medical and nursing student towards the older Chinese population. Materials and Methods: A reliable and valid Chinese language version of Kogan’s Attitudes toward Older People (KAOP) with 17 matched item pairs (34 items) was completed by 275 medical and nursing students. Descriptive data analysis was employed. Results: Participants reported slightly to have a more positive attitudes (Mean, 144.30 ± 17.89) than those reported from studies in other countries (Jordanian: Mean, 110.6 ± 21.79). Students who were females (Mean, 148.27 ± 18.97), younger (Mean, 146.01 ± 18.59) and studying nursing (Mean, 156.86 ± 17.56) were more likely to have a more positive attitudes than older (Mean, 140.04 ± 15.31), males (Mean, 140.47 ± 15.93), studying medicine (Mean, 138.77 ± 15.04). Discussion: Results show that students may have greater ambivalence attitudes on 10 out of 17 matched item pairs which provides useful information for faculty involved in aged care curriculum design. Working as a volunteer in the university hospital may increase students’ interactions with the elderly and may positively influence attitudes towards the elderly.


Nations worldwide are now experiencing a progressive and rapid increase in their elderly populations. Since there is a shortage of geriatric healthcare providers in the United States, this has important implications for workforce planning.1 On the other hand, it is essential that all healthcare providers improve their knowledge, attitudes and skills relating to geriatrics as they tend to encounter elderly patients more frequently. It is equally important that the current batch of medical and nursing students be prepared for the looming ageing population. We must actively promote the knowledge of, and positive attitudes towards, older people. However, not many medical and nursing students appear to have chosen geriatrics medicine as their career path.2

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