Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2012 , Vol 15, Issue 4
Oya ÖGENLER1, Gülçin YAPICI2, Bahar TAŞDELEN3, Tamer AKÇA1
1Mersin Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Tıp Tarihi ve Etik, MERSİN
2Mersin Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Halk Sağlığı, MERSİN
3Mersin Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi İstatistik ve Bilişim, MERSİN
Introduction: If health care workers discriminate against elderly people, the principle of justice which is one of the main principles of medical ethics may be eroded and the elderly will suffer. The purpose of this study is to determine discrimination against the elderly among physicians practicing in different institutions.

Materials and Method: The study was conducted on 170 physicians practicing in primary health care, state and university hospital settings in Mersin. The questionnaire consists of questions on socio-demographic characteristics of the doctors and the “Elder Discrimination Attitude Scale”.

Results: Of the participating physicians, 36.1% were specialists, 66.5% were males and 75.9% were married. The average elder discrimination attitude score was 86.57±8.33. No difference was observed in mean elder discrimination attitude scale scores with respect to gender, position, marital status, the place of birth, family structure and number of siblings.

Conclusion: It can be concluded that medical doctors have a positive attitude towards elderly people but, negative opinions towards the elderly increase with age. The positive attitudes of the doctors should be reinforced and the negative ones should be eliminated. In this sense, promoting the justice principle which is one of the basic principles of medical ethics is possible by raising physicians' awareness about elder discrimination. Keywords : Aged; Prejudice /Ageism; Medical Ethics; Justice