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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-40

Should undergraduates be introduced to geriatric training? A pilot study on knowledge, attitude, and perception in medical interns and postgraduate residents from a tertiary care hospital

Department of Psychiatry, TNMC and BYL Nair Charitable Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Alka A Subramanyam
Department of Psychiatry, 1st Floor, OPD Building, TNMC and BYL Nair Charitable Hospital, Mumbai Central, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_40_17

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Context: The number of elderly patients is expected to rise. However, the efforts required to integrate this aging population into our health-care system seem to be lacking. An improvement definitely has to be aimed for because the subject of geriatric medicine will personally concern each one of us in the future. Aims: This study aims to assess and compare knowledge, attitude, and perception toward elderly and aging in medical interns and postgraduate residents and compare attitudes toward aging among the different postgraduate branches. Settings and Design: This study was conducted at a tertiary care teaching municipal hospital and medical college. This was a cross-sectional study utilizing self-constructed structured questionnaires. Materials and Methods: Questionnaires on knowledge, attitude, and perception, constructed by the lead researcher and reviewed by an expert panel, were administered to the two groups. The responses were collected and analyzed. Statistical Analysis Used: Chi-square test and means of percentages were used. Results: Both groups showed a positive perception to the needs of the elderly. The interns showed a more negative attitude toward aging compared to the postgraduate students, with the differences being significant (P < 0.05) between the two groups in 16 out of 45 questions. On the knowledge questionnaire, a significant (P = 0.014) difference was seen between the teaching in interns and postgraduates. The analysis also revealed that general medicine and psychiatry had the best scores on the attitude questionnaire. Conclusions: Although the perception of elder-friendly city is same in both groups, interns have a more negative attitude toward aging which could stem from the inadequate knowledge being imparted during the undergraduate medical curriculum. Hence, there is a need to introduce geriatric medicine at an undergraduate level.

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