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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


FRANCO S, MIREYA et al. Prevalence of negative stereotypes towards old age among personnel of a general hospital. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2010, vol.138, n.8, pp.988-993. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Social representations are value systems. Social stereotypes are a social consensus of traits associated with a specific group. Stereotypes about older subjects, generally have negative connotations. Aim: To assess the prevalence of negative stereotypes towards older subjects among health care personnel. Material and Methods: A questionnaire about stereotypes towards old age, with Likert type questions that included health, social motivations and personality-character domains, was applied to 52 doctors, 12 residents, 80 general nurses, 36 auxiliary nurses, four social workers and 10 medical assistants, working at a general hospital. Results: The mean age of the professionals who answered the questionnaire was 38 years (95% confidence intervals (CI) 37-39 years) and 78% were women. The prevalence of a Global negative stereotype was 65.0%(95% CI: 59.5-70.5). The figure for the health domain was 64.5% (IC95%; 59.0-70.0), for the social motivation domain was 60%(5%CI: 54.3-65.7) and for the character personality domain was 64% (95%CI: 58.4-69.6). Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of a negative stereotype towards old age among health care personnel.

Keywords : Delivery of health care; Old age assistance; Stereotyped behavior.

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