Authors assessed the benefit of including medical students on geropsychiatric home-visits.
Medical students, during their psychiatry clerkship, were assigned to a home-visit group (N=43) or control group (N=81). Home-visit participants attended the initial visit of a home-bound geriatric patient. The Maxwell-Sullivan Attitude Scale (MSAS), measuring attitudes about geriatric patients, was administered to all students before and after the clerkship. Home-visit participants received a questionnaire to rate the experience.
There were no significant differences between the groups with regard to change from baseline to follow-up on the MSAS. On the home-visit questionnaire, participants rated positively the overall experience (mean of 3.5 on a 4-point scale). Most home-visit participants commented positively about their experience.
No significant effect of the home visit on medical student attitudes was demonstrated. However, the student questionnaire responses suggested that the students found the experience useful.