Purpose: This study examined attitudes of graduating medical and nursing students toward older persons in Ghana. The association between the overall quality of students’ experiences with older persons and their attitudes was also examined to identify educational interventions to increase interest in geriatrics.
Materials and Methods: A sample of 135 final year medical and nursing students from a public institution in Ghana participated in a cross-sectional study by completing a web-based self-administered questionnaire consisting of the 14-item University of California at
Los Angeles Geriatric Attitudes (UCLA-GA) scale and demographic questions. Data analysis involved a two-sample t-test and a one-way ANOVA.
Results: Overall, most participants (82.2%) held positive attitudes towards older persons. Medical students had significantly more positive attitudes toward older persons (3.50 ± 0.44) than nursing students (3.26 ± 0.38) (t  = 3.257, p = .001). The association between students’ attitudes and the quality of their experiences with older persons was significant (F [2, 132] = 7.062, p = .001). Students whose experiences with older persons were negative had the least positive attitudes.
Conclusion: Considering the impact of previous experiences with older persons on medical and nursing students’ attitude in Ghana, training to increase interest in geriatrics should include positive clinical and community-based exposure.
Grace Karikari, David K. Lohrmann, Lesa Huber, et al.. "Attitudes of Graduating Health Practitioners Toward Older Persons in Ghana" (2022). Indigenous Health Faculty Publications. 1.