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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2003 Aug;18(8):694-9.

Teaching and training in old age psychiatry: a general survey of the World Psychiatric Association member societies.

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1
Department of Old Age Psychiatry and WHO Collaborating Center for Old Age Psychiatry, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. vincent.camus@inst.hospvd.ch

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

One of the main goals of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) section on old age psychiatry is to promote its discipline and consequently to help member societies to promote and develop locally specific medical education programmes in old age psychiatry. In order to target its support to the needs expressed by the member societies, the section conducted a survey within the WPA during the year 2001.

METHOD:

A questionnaire was sent to each of the 116 WPA member societies in 93 countries. It assessed the level of development of medical education in old age psychiatry in each country, as well as the perceived needs in educational material.

RESULTS:

Answers were obtained from 50 WPA member societies (response rate 54%) from 48 countries (response rate 52%). The existence of specific old age psychiatry services was reported in 40 (83%) countries, but the discipline is recognized as a subspecialty in only 13 (27%). Formal teaching in old age psychiatry was reported at the undergraduate level in 44 (92%) countries. Specific learning objectives for postgraduate training were reported in 30 (86%) of the countries where the discipline is not yet recognized as a subspecialty. Specific Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs were however reported in only 50% of the countries. Support for the development of educational material was mostly thought to be useful at the postgraduate level. Depression, dementia, psychopharmacology and psychotherapy were among the most frequently cited areas in which educational material might be usefully provided.

CONCLUSION:

Support for the development of postgraduate training is seen as the most pressing need by WPA member societies. Such support could help to increase the level of recognition of the discipline locally and hence provide more effective support to older people with mental disorders.

Comment in

PMID:
12891636
DOI:
10.1002/gps.900
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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