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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

First Advisor

Ann Williams, PhD, PT

Second Advisor

Nancy Cicirello, MPH, PT


Negative stereotypes and attitudes towards the elderly are prevalent among health care providers. These age biased beliefs may result in the elderly receiving inadequate and less aggressive treatment. This study focused on the ability of a geriatric course to positively alter physical therapy students' knowledge, aggressiveness of treatment, and age bias towards the elderly. The results demonstrated that there was no significant difference regarding knowledge, aggressiveness of treatment, and age bias scores for those students who had or did not have a course in geriatrics. However, those students who had a close relationship with an elderly person had higher knowledge scores (p<.05). Finally, those students who had greater knowledge scores regarding the elderly tended towards less age bias (p<.10).


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