Impact of geriatrics elective courses at three colleges of pharmacy: Attitudes toward aging and eldercare

Jeannie K. Lee, Lynne Tomasa, Paula Evans, Victoria B. Pho, Michael Bear, Andrew Vo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: One in five Americans will be 65 years and older by 2030. Training student pharmacists to provide quality eldercare as healthcare professionals is essential. The objective of the study was to assess pharmacy students' attitudes toward aging and eldercare before and after a geriatrics-focused elective course. Methods: The University of Arizona Aging and Health Care (UA AHC) survey was modified for pharmacy and administered pre and post to students enrolled in a geriatrics elective course at three United States (US) colleges of pharmacy. Pre and post means were calculated to examine attitudinal changes after course participation. Factor analysis was performed to examine construct validity by identifying the dimensions being measured. Results: Sixteen of 37 questions differed significantly from pre-course to post-course demonstrating improved attitudes after course participation. Students also reported an awareness of how older adults are viewed and treated. Factor analysis identified seven factors with a range of behaviors, skills, training, and attitudes perceived to be important in geriatric care. Two factors, importance of learning about geriatric care and experience/comfort with older adults, showed significant changes confirming positive impact of the course. Conclusions: Geriatrics-focused elective courses in three colleges of pharmacy had a positive impact on students' perceived importance of learning about geriatric care and experience/comfort with elders. Further research to adapt and validate the UA AHC survey to pharmacy education is needed. The identification of the skills and attitudes necessary to meet the growing needs of older adults is necessary for pharmacy curriculum implementation and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • Attitudes
  • Education
  • Elective course
  • Geriatrics
  • Pharmacy
  • Student

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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