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Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP

Print version ISSN 0080-6234

Abstract

SCHIMIDT, Teresa Cristina Gioia  and  SILVA, Maria Julia Paes da. The perception and understanding of health professionals and undergraduate students regarding aging and the elderly. Rev. esc. enferm. USP [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.3, pp. 612-617. ISSN 0080-6234.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0080-62342012000300012.

This qualitative study was developed with 117 healthcare professionals and undergraduate students who were participants of a non-verbal communication training program in gerontology, with the objective to identify the perception and understanding of healthcare undergraduates and graduates regarding aging and the elderly. The results allowed the construction of the following categories: an evolution of life that brings a variety of experiences; natural, mysterious and with accumulated experiences; a decrease in overall happiness due to an increase in isolation; a time of valuing affection and respect; an inevitable stage including distress, prejudice, and limitations worthy of attention; a natural consequence of life; and the presence of disease and the global physiological process. Regarding perceptions of the elderly, the answers were classified as positive, negative, mixed and neutral. We considered that the understanding regarding the elderly and aging was limited and pessimist, indicating a need to become aware that one's views affect the way we relate to others.

Keywords : Aged; Aging; Nonverbal communication; Geriatric nursing.

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