ERIC Number: ED343062
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Oct-4
Attitudes towards Older Adults: A Comparison of Physical Therapy and Medical Students.
Schmidt, Ron; And Others
Since attitudes of medical professionals may influence the health care delivered to elderly people and there is an increasing proportion of older people in society, it would seem appropriate to assess the attitudes toward older adults held by health care providers. This study examined attitudes toward older adults held by physical therapy students, and compared them with attitudes of 232 senior medical students at the same institution who participated in an earlier study using the same instrument. It was hypothesized that because physical therapy students are more likely to have personal contact with older adults in their clinical training than physicians do, they would have more positive attitudes toward older people than do medical students. The Kogan Attitudes Toward Older People Scale was administered to 47 junior and senior physical therapy students. The results of the study indicated that the physical therapy students had relatively positive attitudes toward older people as measured by this scale. Their mean raw score on the Kogan scale was 104.6 with a standard deviation of 16.79; in contrast, the senior medical students' mean score was 99.9, with a standard deviation of 16.79. A t-test revealed no statistically significant difference between the two groups, thus rejecting the study hypothesis. Both groups demonstrated more positive attitudes than did comparable samples of undergraduate, graduate, and medical students previously reported in the literature. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Forum on Research in Aging (8th, Lincoln, NE, October 4-5, 1991).