The Effect of Educational Interventions on Willingness to Work with Older Adults: A Comparison of Students of Social Work and Health Professions

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Abstract

The study examined the effect of an educational intervention on the willingness of Israeli social work students to work with older adults, comparing them to students of nursing, speech therapy, and physiotherapy. A sample of 187 first-year students were divided into two groups: a research group (n=83) exposed to an educational intervention on ageing, and a control group (n=104) that received no intervention of any kind. Following the intervention, ageism among social work students in the research group decreased and positive behavior toward older adults increased. No significant differences were found among students of the health professions following the intervention. In addition, ageism mediated between knowledge of ageing and willingness to work with older adults.Furthermore, the higher the students assessed the contribution of the intervention, the lower their level of ageism, the more positive their behavior toward older adults, and the more willing they were to consider a career in geriatrics. The results suggest that introducing into the curriculum a variety of learning methods aimed at increasing knowledge of ageing and familiarity with the world of older adults is likely to encourage more students of social work and other therapeutic professions to work with the older population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-132
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Gerontological Social Work
Volume63
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • ageism
  • educational interventions
  • students
  • willingness to work with older adults

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