Attitudes of dental students towards treating elderly patients. Dental students’ attitudes on geriatric patients

Carellis, Clio; Kalberer, Nicole; Abou-Ayash, Samir; Schimmel, Martin; Wittneben, Julia G; Zitzmann, Nicola U; Besimo, Christian E; Bornstein, Michael M; Müller, Frauke; Srinivasan, Murali (2021). Attitudes of dental students towards treating elderly patients. Dental students’ attitudes on geriatric patients (In Press). Swiss dental journal, 131(2) Schweizerische Zahnärzte-Gesellschaft SSO

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The purpose of this questionnaire-based survey was to evaluate the attitudes of the undergraduate dental students towards elders. The 14-item Geriatric attitudes scale (GAS) questionnaire, along with a 9-item questionnaire with specific questions on the current geriatric dental curriculum, confidence, and preference in treating the elderly patients were administered to the undergraduate dental students (3rd bachelor, 1st master, and 2nd master) in the four Swiss university dental schools. Mean GAS scores were calculated and inter- and intra-group differences were analyzed with ANOVA and post hoc tests (level of significance set at α=0.05). Responses to the 9-item questionnaire were reported descriptively. Further analyses were performed to evaluate the effect of demographic factors on the GAS scores. 305 students (meanage: 25.8±4.0y) participated in this study. The mean overall GAS score of the students was 3.5±0.4. There were no significant differences in the GAS scores between the centers [F(3, 300)=2.266, p=0.081] or between the year of training [F(2, 301)=1.884, p=0.154]. Demographic factors did not influence the GAS scores. Students considered geriatric dentistry as an important part of their dental undergraduate education. The current geriatric curriculum was perceived to be on an adequate level. Hands-on experience in treating geriatric patients in the undergraduate curriculum was positively opinionated, and mobile dental services for elders with limited access to care was considered a good solution. In conclusion, the attitudes of the Swiss undergraduate dental students towards an elderly patient seem acceptable but could still be improved.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Department of Reconstructive Dentistry and Gerodontology

UniBE Contributor:

Abou-Ayash, Samir; Schimmel, Martin and Wittneben, Julia


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Schweizerische Zahnärzte-Gesellschaft SSO




Tina Lauper

Date Deposited:

16 Jun 2021 16:39

Last Modified:

16 Jun 2021 16:39

PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Ageism Dental education Geriatric attitudes scale Geriatric dentistry Gerodontology




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