The incidence of alcoholism is on the rise among older people, and an increasing proportion of these individuals are unrecognized and neglected. Since health care professionals such as physicians and nurses are responsible for identifying and referring older individuals for treatment, this study examined medical (N = 203) and nursing (N = 120) students' propensity to refer elderly patients for alcohol treatment. Among medical and nursing students, we examined whether the number of geriatric alcohol education hours and factual knowledge toward the elderly influenced their referral rate. We found that medical students as compared to nursing students have more factual knowledge toward the elderly, have completed more hours of geriatric alcohol education, and are more likely to refer older individuals for alcohol treatment. Additionally, for both medical and nursing students, hours of geriatric alcohol education is a significant predictor of the rate of referral for alcohol treatment. We discuss the implications of our results for both medical and nursing education.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology