The beliefs and attitudes of physiotherapists/physiotherapy students toward elders are poorly represented in the literature with several authors highlighting the importance of pre-registration education in determining attitudes of healthcare staff. This study investigated and compared first and fourth year undergraduate physiotherapy students' beliefs and attitudes toward older people and explored if any association existed between student characteristics and attitudes. A convenience sample of 175 students completed a questionnaire. Students' attitudes toward older people were found to be mainly neutral or positive but some differences were found between first and fourth year students' attitudes and ageist tendencies were detected in some students. Previous contact with fit/healthy elders and teaching specifically about the needs of older people had a positive effect on attitudes. Students described “a person over 70” using mainly negative stereotypical traits and themselves at 70 mainly positively
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