Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2017 , Vol 20, Issue 1
HEALTH SCIENCES STUDENTS’ AGEING ANXIETY AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS OLDER PEOPLE
Safiye SÖZVURMAZ1, Aliye MANDIRACIOĞLU2
1Adnan Menderes University, Faculty of Nursing, Department of Public Health Nursing, AYDIN
2Ege University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, IZMIR
Introduction: The aim of this study was to determine ageing anxiety and attitudes towards the elderly in students studying in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Adnan Menderes University in Turkey.

Materials and Method: This cross-sectional study carried out during 2016 and included 236 students enrolled at the university. Of these students, 146 were from the nursing department, 54 from the midwifery department and 36 from the nutrition and dietetics department. The students completed a questionnaire on demographic features, University of California, Los Angeles Geriatrics Attitudes Scale (14 items) and Anxiety about Aging Scale (20 items).

Results: Most of the participants were female nursing students. Approximately one-fifth of the students reported that their families shared their home with older relatives. Approximately half of the students reported that they participated in activities for older people. Mean scores for University of California, Los Angeles Geriatrics Attitudes Scale and Anxiety about Aging Scale were 48.22±5.44 and 66.38±8.75, respectively. First-year students, studying nutrition and dietetics and those not participating in nursing home activities had significantly lower scores on the University of California, Los Angeles Geriatrics Attitudes Scale. Students staying with older relatives had significantly higher scores on the Anxiety about Aging Scale.

Conclusion: Although health sciences students who will provide care for older people in the future had positive attitudes towards them, they also had high ageing anxiety. Undergraduate education should, therefore, be restructured to create positive communication between students and older people. Keywords : Ageing; Anxiety; Attitude; Students