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Australas J Ageing. 2020 Mar 2. doi: 10.1111/ajag.12788. [Epub ahead of print]

Fifth-year medical students' perceptions of the importance of frailty and competence in assessing, diagnosing and managing frailty before and after a geriatric medicine course.

Author information

1
Adelaide Geriatrics Training and Research with Aged Care (G-TRAC Centre), Discipline of Medicine, Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia.
2
National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence on Frailty and Healthy Ageing, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia.
3
School of Social Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia.
4
Aged and Extended Care Services, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Central Adelaide Local Health Network, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the changes in fifth-year medical students' perceptions of the importance of frailty and competence in assessing, diagnosing and managing frailty after a 4.5-week geriatric medicine course.

METHODS:

Students' perceived importance and competence was assessed before and after the course using a 26-item Likert scale questionnaire with scores ranging from 1 to 6.

RESULTS:

Students' perceptions of the importance of defining frailty (P = .01), explaining what frailty is (P = .03), advising on nutritional needs (P = .001) and exercise (P = .001) and prescribing an exercise program (P < .001) significantly improved after the course. Medical students' perceived competence in assessing, diagnosing and managing frailty was low to moderate precourse and increased significantly postcourse (2.3 [1.2] 4.9 [2.9], mean [IQR], P < .001) across all items.

CONCLUSION:

An appropriate curriculum focusing on geriatric health conditions such as frailty can improve senior medical students' perceived importance and competence in assessing, diagnosing and managing frailty.

KEYWORDS:

aged; competence; frailty; geriatrics; undergraduate medical education

PMID:
32124560
DOI:
10.1111/ajag.12788

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