Factors related to medical students’ and doctors’ attitudes towards older patients: a systematic review

Samra, Rajvinder and Cox, Tom and Gordon, Adam L. and Conroy, Simon and Lucassen, Mathijs and Griffiths, Amanda (2017) Factors related to medical students’ and doctors’ attitudes towards older patients: a systematic review. Age and Ageing . ISSN 1468-2834

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Abstract

Background: Studies have sought to identify the possible determinants of medical students’ and doctors’ attitudes towards older patients by examining relationships with a variety of demographic, educational/training, and job factors. This review collates and synthesises these findings.

Methods: An electronic search of ten databases was performed (ABI/Inform, ASSIA, British Nursing Index, CINAHL, Informa Health, Medline, PsycINFO, Science Direct, Scopus, and Web of Science) through to 7 February 2017.

Results: The main search identified 2332 articles; 37 studies met the eligibility criteria set. All included studies analysed self-reported attitudes based on correlational analyses or difference testing, therefore causation cannot be determined. However, self-reported positive attitudes towards older patients were related to: (i) intrinsic motivation for studying medicine; (ii) increased preference for working with older patients; and (iii) good previous relationships with older people. Additionally, more positive attitudes were also reported in those with higher knowledge scores but these may relate to the use of a knowledge measure which is an indirect measure of attitudes (i.e. Palmore’s Facts on Aging Quizzes). Four out of the five high quality studies included in this review reported more positive attitudes in females compared to males.

Conclusion: This paper identifies factors associated with medical students’ and doctors’ positive attitudes towards older patients. Future research could bring greater clarity to the relationship between knowledge and attitudes by using a knowledge measure which is distinct from attitudes and also measures knowledge that is relevant to clinical care.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Physician; Medical student; Attitude; Older adult; Systematic review
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing
University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Medical Sciences and Graduate Entry Medicine
Identification Number: 10.1093/ageing/afx058
Depositing User: Gordon, Adam
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2017 09:34
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 21:19
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/41498

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