Nurses' and physicians' perceptions of older people and attitudes towards older people: Ageism in a hospital in Turkey

Contemp Nurse. 2014;48(1):88-97. doi: 10.5172/conu.2014.48.1.88.


Abstract Nurses and physicians provide health care for a growing number of older people as a result of the rapid increase in the life expectancies of older people. Health professionals' negative attitudes towards older people affect the quality of health care offered to these individuals. The sample for this study included 110 nurses and 57 physicians working in the medical and surgical clinics of a university hospital. A questionnaire form and the Ageism Attitude Scale (AAS) were used to collect the data. A five-point Likert-type format was utilised for the AAS. The AAS total mean score was 80.02 ± 2.64 for nurses and 83.17 ± 9.09 for physicians. The difference between these mean scores was statistically significant (p < 0.05). For the AAS sub-dimension 'limiting the life of the older people,' the physicians' score (35.14 ± 6.22) was significantly higher than the nurses' score (33.22 ± 3.59). In this study, nurses' and physicians' attitudes, approaches, and considerations were found to be generally positive.

Keywords: ageism; attitude; health care; nurses’ and physicians’ attitudes; older people.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Turkey