Ageing and life course


Assessing the attitudes of medical students towards older persons in four continents

In 2001 TeGeMe II was initiated to further explore the area of geriatric teaching and the attitudes of medical students. The IFMSA remained a close collaborator in the implementation and coordination of this second study.

The main goal of the TeGeMe II study was to gain insight on the views of clinical medical students regarding: the older population; their own personal interactions with them; and current geriatric training.


IFMSA and WHO designed a questionnaire incorporating the Age Semantic Differential Scale (Rosencranz and McNevin 1969). The instrument measured attitudes towards populations of all ages using 32 opposite adjective pairs on a 7 point scale.

The same research team from TeGeMe1 led the study and randomly selected student respondents in each local medical school.

Data was collected from 8761 medical students from 24 countries of 4 continents. During 2001, a pilot study was done in 5 African countries: Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan and the United Republic of Tanzania. Between 2003 and 2004 the study was done in 19 countries from the Americas, Asia and Europe: Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, China (Hong Kong SAR), Finland, Germany, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malta, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

The findings of the study were released in "Attitudes of medical students towards older persons in four continents" (Gupta N, Moraru M, Keller I, Kalache A), a report which was presented at the 18th World Congress of Gerontology, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2005. They are also outlined in TeGeMe II Report

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