Improvement in attitudes toward the elderly following traditional and geriatric mock clinics for physical therapy students

D. S. Brown, D. L. Gardner, L. Perritt, D. G. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine whether the attitudes of students in a physical therapy education program toward the elderly could be influenced positively by (1) having classroom discussion led by an individual with expertise in geriatrics and (2) having only individuals aged 65 years or older participate in a specially designed geriatric mock clinic (GMC). Subjects were 47 first-year students divided into a control group (n=24) and an experimental group (n=23). Students in the control group participated in two 4-week clinical rotations. Students in the experimental group participated in one 5-week clinical rotation and in one 3-week GMC. Students in both groups were given a pretest and a posttest administration of the Kogan Old People Scale to assess their attitudes toward the elderly. No significant difference was found between the two groups' overall attitude scores on the pretest or the posttest results. Overall, positive attitude scores increased significantly for both groups, although the increase was greater for the experimental group than for the control group. Negative attitude scores decreased significantly for the experimental group, but did not change for the control group. We concluded that both traditional clinical rotations and a specially designed GMC influenced the students positively. Suggestions have been made for the Clinical Instructor who wishes to influence physical therapy students' attitudes to meet the increasing needs of the elderly patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-260
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992


  • Attitudes of health personnel
  • Education: physical therapist, clinical education
  • Geriatrics
  • Professional-patient relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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