Ann Geriatr Med Res.  2020 Mar;24(1):41-49. 10.4235/agmr.19.0043.

Ageism between Medical and Preliminary Medical Persons in Korea

  • 1Department of Geriatric Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Geriatric Medicine, Eunpyeong St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Graduate School for Advanced Aging, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Korea


We tried to analyse the trends in ageism among health care providers and medical students in the Republic of Korea.
We used the Fraboni Scale of Ageism (FSA), Relating to Older People Evaluation (ROPE) questionnaire, Anxiety about Aging Scale (AAS), and The Facts on Aging Quiz II to assess ageism in medical students (n=90), nurses (n=114), and doctors (n=83). We grouped health care providers based on the percentage of aged patients (over 65 years) that they treated.
Compared to the other groups, doctors had more knowledge about aging and the highest and lowest total scores in the FSA and ROPE, respectively. The total FSA scores and percentage of aged patients treated were negatively correlated. Regarding the ROPE score, negative and positive ageist behaviors were positively correlated with the percentage of aged patients.
Ageism and ageist behavior among doctors differed from previous reports and other groups mentioned in the present study. Although doctors had more knowledge of aging, they had expressed a high levels of ageism. However, they did not act ageistically. Health care providers who treat a large number of older patients had minimal ageism but more ageist behavior. These findings may be attributed to the low completion rate of geriatric classes, lack of education on ageist behaviors, or Confucian education inculcating skepticism toward older adults.


Ageism; Korea; Health care providers
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