Influence of medical education on students' attitudes towards the elderly

Cankurtaran M., HALİL M. G. , Ulger Z., Dagli N., DOĞU B. B. , Karaca B., ...More

JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, vol.98, no.9, pp.1518-1522, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 98 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1518-1522
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


As life expectancy increases, the elderly population grows accordingly. Today, physicians interface with elderly patients more frequently and, therefore, geriatric education should be a part of medical training. Examining medical students' knowledge and attitudes about elderly will provide valuable information in planning the geriatric education in medical school. The aim of this study is to determine and compare the attitudes and knowledge of class-1, -4 and -6 Turkish medical students about the elderly. A questionnaire that included statements about physical and social situations of the elderly, developed by Reuben et al., was used. Five-hundred-thirty-five students educating in Hacettepe University Medical Faculty took part in the study. Age, gender and the number of people aged > 65 living with the students were also asked. Gender and number of old people living with the students had no significant effect on the answers. Social statements were answered positively, and there were no significant changes among the classes. Statements about physical situations and illnesses were significantly associated with the students' years of education. Geriatric education in developing countries needs more attention because the students' attitudes towards elderly and caregiver preference are mostly affected by the students' own experiences and knowledge.