Promoting positive attitude towards elderly among healthcare students through service learning

K.P. Wai, Y.T. Kwok, Kup Sze Choi, R.K.C. Au

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review


The ageing population is expected to significantly increase the demand of healthcare services. To meet this challenge, it is necessary to equip healthcare students with attributes for providing quality elderly care services. Among them, a positive attitude towards older people is important to develop rapport with clients and facilitate service delivery. By adopting the service learning model where the teaching of elderly care knowledge is coupled with the delivery of healthcare services, it is anticipated that the direct interactions with elderly can promote the development of positive attitude. The present study reports the effect of service learning on fostering positive attitude towards elderly people among undergraduate healthcare students. The students attended a 14-week service learning subject designed on the platform of a nurse-led outreach mobile clinic. The subject involved preparatory classroom activities and hands-on skills training, as well as the provision of health assessment services and the delivery of health talks or workshops in local communities. Students’ attitude towards the elderly was measured by the Kogan’s Attitude toward Old People Scale at the beginning and at the end of the subject. The results suggested that participation in the subject led to significant improvement in attitude towards elderly in various aspects. The study provides supportive evidence for advocating service learning as a promising pedagogical method in developing favourable attributes for students, which might be difficult to achieve through traditional classroom teaching and written examinations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventInternational Conference on Service-Learning [ICSL] -
Duration: 1 Jan 2014 → …


ConferenceInternational Conference on Service-Learning [ICSL]
Period1/01/14 → …


  • Service learning
  • Attitude
  • Elderly
  • Healthy ageing
  • Healthcare education

Cite this