Aging Clin Exp Res. 2022 Aug 20. doi: 10.1007/s40520-022-02209-6. Online ahead of print.
The perceptions and attitudes of health professionals toward a certain group of society are among the factors affecting the quality of health service. This study aimed to investigate the attitudes of physicians and nurses about ageism in the COVID-19 pandemic. An easy face-to-face survey was used to collect the data. It involves the questions about demographic information and geriatric perspectives, and they were taken from the University of California at Los Angeles Geriatrics Attitudes Scale (UCLA-GAS). In the study, 58.1% of participants were over 35 years old, 76.6% were women, and 50% were physicians out of 308 in total. It was found that most of the participants have worked in inpatient services and intensive care units for the longest time, where the triage issue was the most discussed topic during the pandemic. An average of 75% of the participants stated that they did not witness any ageist attitude in health care provided. In the comparative analyses conducted with the UCLA-GAS sub-dimensions, statistically significant results, which were anti-ageist and prioritized human life, were obtained. In the extraordinary periods such as pandemic, especially physicians should be able to give the treatment without feeling any social or legal concerns during their medical applications with the light of guidelines accepted scientifically, legally, and morally. Thus, health professionals will not only be away from legal concerns such as malpractice but also will not be exhausted mentally and they can provide more sufficient health service by working under these conditions.