Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2020 , Vol 23, Issue 2
Ayla AÇIKGÖZ1, Hülya TUNA2, Meriç YILDIRIM2, Serap ACAR2
1Dokuz Eylul University , Vocational School of Healthcare, Izmir, TURKEY
2Dokuz Eylul University, School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Izmir, TURKEY
DOI : 10.31086/tjgeri.2020.161 Introduction: Recently, ageism has been recognised as an important factor affecting the quality of rehabilitation services provided to older adults. This study aimed to identify the ageism attitudes of physiotherapy students and investigate the factors associated with these attitudes.

Materials and Methods: This descriptive study was conducted on 417 students enrolled in the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation of a state university in Izmir, Turkey. The authors evaluated the sociodemographic and family characteristics, experiences and opinions about living with older adults, and ageism attitudes of participating students. The Ageism Attitude Scale (AAS) is employed to assess the ageism attitudes.

Results: The mean of total AAS score of the 417 students is 81.0 ± 9.5, whereas the mean scores of "restricting the life of the elderly", the "positive ageism" and the "negative ageism" dimensions are 34.3 ± 4.0, 28.7 ± 5.2, and 18.0 ± 3.4, respectively. Higher positive ageism attitude scores are reported in the female students along with those students who reported higher economic status (family), higher quality of relationships with older people, desire to cohabitate with a parent in the future, and desire to work in institutions serving older adults.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that interactions with older adults can increase positive ageism attitudes. To improve the ageism attitudes of physiotherapy students, they should be allowed to practice in elderly care units. Considering that the elderly population will increase gradually, physiotherapy students" having a positive attitude towards the elderly might increase the quality of the health services they will provide. Keywords : Ageism; Attitude; Aged