Author(s): Gunderson A, Tomkowiak J, Menachemi N, Brooks R
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Abstract Rural elderly patients receive health services primarily in the outpatient setting, with their primary care provider often serving as their only point of contact with the health care system. Little is known however about the attitudes of physicians, and more specifically attitudes of those practicing in rural locations, toward differing age groups of the elderly. The current study was undertaken to examine the perceptions and attitudes of rural Florida physicians who routinely provide care for the elderly. We utilized an existing and validated survey instrument designed to measure the perceptions and attitudes of health professionals toward 3 different cohorts of elderly people: the elderly population in general, the elderly population older than 85 years, and the nursing home population. The study provides evidence that physicians who routinely provide care for the elderly in rural Florida demonstrate ageist perceptions, especially against those older than 85 years and the nursing home population. The trends identified are important because they may directly influence the quality of care that this population receives.
This article was published in Qual Manag Health Care
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research