Chinese Medical Students' Attitudes toward Older Adults and Willingness To Consider a Career in Geriatric Medicine: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Huimin Zhao, Bei Wu, Jing Shi, Elizabeth Reifsnider, Junyao Fan, Jie Li, Jing Mao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Phenomenon: Ageism is a significant social issue, especially in China. Ageism adversely affects willingness to consider a career in geriatric medicine. However, few studies have examined this topic among Chinese medical students. This study aimed to investigate attitudes toward older people among medical students in China, examine the factors related to these attitudes, and determine the relationships between attitudes and willingness to consider geriatric medicine as a career after graduation. Approach: Responses from 1,022 Chinese medical students were included in the analyses. Students provided demographic information and completed the Fraboni Scale of Ageism (FSA). The data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences, version 24.0 (IBM SPSS Corp). Findings: The mean score of the FSA was 64.42 ± 6.58. Multiple regression analysis showed that the significant predictors of ageism were being male, longer years of training in medical school, and no caregiving experiences with older adults during clinical practice (R 2 =.038, F = 13.520, p <.001). Students who had higher FSA scores were more unwilling to consider a career in geriatric medicine after graduation (t = 4.281, p <.001, Cohen’s d =.268). Insights: Chinese medical students have fewer positive attitudes toward older adults than what has been reported in other countries. Future studies should examine the determinants of ageism among medical students in various cultures to guide the development, implementation, and assessment of interventions designed to nurture a more positive attitude toward older adults and increase willingness to consider a career in geriatric medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Ageism
  • China
  • aging
  • geriatric medicine
  • medical students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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