Geriatrics in medical students' curricula: Questionnaire-based analysis

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Abstract

Background: Demographic development is accompanied by an increasingly aging society. Concerning medical education, the treatment of older people as well as the scientific research and exploration of ageing aspects in the coming years need to be considered. Aim of the study was to ascertain medical students' knowledge, interest, and attitudes regarding older patients and geriatric medicine. Methods. Each participant completed a self-designed questionnaire. This questionnaire was based on three validated internationally recognised questionnaires ("Facts on Aging Quiz - FAQ", "Expectations Regarding Aging - ERA" and the "Aging Semantic Differential - ASD"). The inquiry and survey were performed at the beginning of the summer term in 2012 at the University of Regensburg Medical School. Results: A total of n = 184/253 (72.7%) students participated in this survey. The results of the FAQ 25+ showed that respondents were able to answer an average of M = 20.4 of 36 questions (56.7%) correctly (Median, Md = 21; SD ±6.1). The personal attitudes and expectations of ageing averaged M = 41.2 points on the Likert-scale that ranged from 0 to 100 (Md = 40.4; SD ±13.7). Respondents' attitudes towards the elderly (ASD 24) averaged M = 3.5 points on the Likert-scale (range 1-7, Md 3.6, SD ±0.8). Conclusions: In our investigation, medical students' knowledge of ageing was comparable to previous surveys. Attitudes and expectations of ageing were more positive compared to previous studies. Overall, medical students expect markedly high cognitive capacities towards older people that can actively prevent cognitive impairment. However, medical students' personal interest in medicine of ageing and older people seems to be rather slight. © 2014 Wiese et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Wiese, C. H., Fragemann, K., Keil, P. C., Bundscherer, A. C., Lindenberg, N., Lassen, C. L., … Trabold, B. (2014). Geriatrics in medical students’ curricula: Questionnaire-based analysis. BMC Research Notes, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-7-472

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