Purpose: There has been a growing interest in meeting the health care needs of the anticipated ‘‘age wave.’’ In order to prepare for the current demographic trends, we sought to describe the status of geriatrics curricula in the 18 North American English-speaking chiropractic colleges by reviewing geriatric course syllabi.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using syllabi and catalog information solicited from each English-speaking chiropractic college in North America, collected from January 1, 2007 through June 30, 2007. Information was then summarized.
Results: As of June 30, 2007, roughly 78% of colleges submitted their current geriatrics course syllabi. The remaining 4 colleges were estimated using online course catalog information. Sixty-one percent of colleges offered a course that was solely dedicated to the topic of geriatrics. Additionally, 37.5% of syllabi indicating credit load offer 4 or more credits to the course containing the geriatrics component. Also, 31.3% of courses include non-classroom clinical experience, while 50% require an independent study project that provides further geriatrics experience. Furthermore, 41.2% of reported courses classify the teaching strategies as lecture only.
Conclusions: These results warrant a proposal for improved curricula in this specialty population. It is proposed that more time be dedicated for this topic, more experiential learning be required, and more clinical focus be given on the needs of this population. A restructure of curricula will provide more clinical experiences for students to better equip future doctors of chiropractic for the increase in geriatric health care needs.
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