Medical students’ positive and negative misconceptions about the elderly: The impact of training in geriatrics

Maria van Zuilen, Mark P. Rubert, Michael Silverman, John E Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Junior and senior medical students (N = 288) responded to Palmore’s Facts on Aging Quiz (FAQ) 1 and 2 and the Facts on Aging and Mental Health Quiz before and after they completed a course in geriatrics. Pre- and post-comparisons of medical students’ knowledge base and misconceptions about the elderly revealed a significant improvement in students’ knowledge base. Students displayed considerable misconceptions about the elderly as demonstrated by the bias scores on the FAQ 1 and 2. Current findings indicate that only positive bias scores improved. This may be the result of the students’ primarily being exposed to chronically ill or semi-dependent nursing home patients. To ameliorate some of their negative misconceptions, students may benefit from contact with healthy elderly or those who are treated for acute rather than chronic problems. Additional geriatric education and exposure to the elderly should be incorporated throughout the four years of the medical school training. [Article copies available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800-342-9678. E-mail address: <> Website: <http://www.Haworth> _ 2001 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-40
Number of pages10
JournalGerontology and Geriatrics Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 16 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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