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Special Thanks to the UofM -Flint, DPT Class of 2012 PowerPoint Presentation
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Special Thanks to the UofM -Flint, DPT Class of 2012

Special Thanks to the UofM -Flint, DPT Class of 2012

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Special Thanks to the UofM -Flint, DPT Class of 2012

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  1. Attitudes, Perceptions, and Interest of Working in Geriatric Physical Therapy in a Group of Entry-Level Doctor of Physical Therapy Students Jennifer Blackwood1 Christina Sweet 1 Physical Therapy Department, University of Michigan-Flint Introduction Methods It is projected that by 2030 the number of adults 65 and older will nearly double to 70 million. With a growing percentage of the United States’ population becomingly elderly there is an increased need for healthcare workers with geriatric expertise. However recent literature indicates that there is very little interest among medical, nursing, and rehabilitation students to pursue a future in geriatrics.A physical therapy workforce that is unprepared to meet the needs of the growing older population is of particular concern as the elderly have an increase rate of fractures and musculoskeletal dysfunctions that often require rehabilitation services. Therefore it is pertinent that physical therapy educators identify how best to prepare and encourage physical therapy students to take an interest in geriatric physical therapy and ensure students have positive attitudes towards working with older adults. Students were asked to complete an online survey addressing their attitudes towards aging and their interest in working with the geriatric population at three different times in their professional education: before taking a geriatrics course, following the course, and a year later after completion of ¾ of their clinical education. The 34 items of the survey were used to measure six constructs: Perceptions of Aging, Fears of Working with Older Adults, Academic Preparedness, Functional Ability of the older adult, Practice Perceptions, and Desire. One way analysis of variance and linear regression were used to examine the results. Discussion & Conclusion Objectives Results of this study indicate that a course in geriatrics will improve a physical therapy student’s perception of aging, fears of working with older adults, and make them more aware of the functional ability of the older adult; while working with an older adult as a part of their clinical education will improve their fears of working with older adults. Overall the study suggests that students have a positive attitude towards the elderly and that gaining geriatric knowledge improves their attitude, unfortunately these changes in attitude do not translate into significant changes in students’ interest in a future in geriatric physical therapy. The implications of these findings for physical therapy educators is that they should work to ensure that both didactic and clinical education in geriatrics functions in a concerted approach to increase students’ knowledge through a positive and enriching experience. The purpose of this study was to measure how entry-level doctor of physical therapy students’ attitudes of the elderly, perceptions of working with the elderly, and their future interest to work in geriatric physical therapy was influenced by exposure to this population within their professional education. Results A significant difference was found between the time of measurement and the constructs of Perception of Aging (F(2,62)=4.455, P=.016), Fear (F(2,62)=6.167, P=.004), and Functional Ability (F(2,62)=11.059, P=.000). Desire was the only statistically significant predictor of whether a student planned to work in geriatrics (β=.892, p<.05). Subjects A group of entry-level physical therapy students in a required graduate level geriatric course were recruited for this study. Special Thanks to the UofM-Flint, DPT Class of 2012