Supported by a grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation.
Multidimensional Attitudes of Medical Residents and Geriatrics Fellows Toward Older People
Article first published online: 24 FEB 2005
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 53, Issue 3, pages 489–494, March 2005
How to Cite
Lee, M., Reuben, D. B. and Ferrell, B. A. (2005), Multidimensional Attitudes of Medical Residents and Geriatrics Fellows Toward Older People. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 53: 489–494. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2005.53170.x
- Issue published online: 24 FEB 2005
- Article first published online: 24 FEB 2005
- geriatric attitudes assessment;
- geriatrics education;
- program evaluation
Objectives: To examine dimensions of a validated instrument measuring geriatric attitudes of primary care residents and performances on these dimensions between residents and fellows.
Design: Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies.
Setting: An academic medical center.
Participants: Two hundred thirty-eight primary care residents (n=177) and geriatrics fellows (n=61) participated in the study from 1995 to 2000.
Measurements: A 14-item, 5-point Likert scale previously validated for measuring primary care residents' attitudes toward older people and geriatric patient care was used.
Results: Factor analysis showed four dimensions of the scale, labeled Social Value, Medical Care (MC), Compassion (CP), and Resource Distribution, which demonstrated acceptable reliability. Both groups of subjects showed significantly (P<.001) positive (mean>3) attitudes across the dimensions and times, except for residents, who had near-neutral (mean=3) attitudes on MC. Residents' mean attitude scores on the overall scale and the MC and CP subscales were significantly (P<.001) lower than those of fellows over time. Residents and fellows showed different change patterns in attitudes over time. Residents' attitudes generally improved during the first 2 years of training, whereas fellows' attitudes declined slightly. Personal experience was a strong predictor of residents' attitudes toward older patients. Ethnicity, academic specialty, professional experience, and career interest in geriatrics were also associated with residents' attitude scores.
Conclusion: The multidimensional analysis of the scale contributes to better understanding of medical trainees' attitudes and sheds light on educational interventions.