Why choose to work in geriatrics? Factors which affect physiotherapists' decisions to work with older people Academic Article uri icon


  • The paper examines the factors which influence physiotherapists' decisions to practise geriatrics. Some 233 physiotherapists returned a questionnaire aimed at identifying the major issues which affected work preference. The questionnaire included items on previous work experience with older people, attitudes towards ageing and elderly clients, and professional issues which influence career choice. The results indicated that most physiotherapists preferred to work in areas other than geriatrics. The majority who practised geriatrics were females aged 41-65, employed part-time. The decision not to work in geriatrics appeared to be related to lack of work experience with older people and employment conditions. Greater negative bias towards elderly people was shown by physiotherapists without postgraduate education in gerontology. In addition, there was a perception amongst clinicians that gerontological physiotherapy offered few opportunities for professional advancement and lacked status.

publication date

  • 1992