Staff perceptions of ageist practice in the clinical setting: Practice development project

Jenny Billings (King's College, University of London)

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

ISSN: 1471-7794

Publication date: 1 June 2006


This study was undertaken in response to the audit requirements for the National Service Framework for Older People Standard 1 ‘Rooting Out Ageism’. The aim of this study was to identify and describe the nature of any age‐discriminatory practice in the clinical setting through the perceptions and experiences of staff working with older people.The study adopted a qualitative approach using focus group design. Six focus groups were conducted with 57 members of staff. An aim of the study method was to isolate consensus areas of ageist practice that would facilitate targeted intervention. To assist this, statements relating to common practice experiences were developed following the first two focus groups. This was used as a discussion tool for the subsequent groups.Perceived ageist practice could be grouped under the following themes:• access to services• communication and attitudes• treatment and care• the role of relatives• resources.On the basis of the findings, greater choice and control for older people need to be key features of the recommendations, through the development of a co‐ordinated development programme involving all stakeholders


Billings, J. (2006), "Staff perceptions of ageist practice in the clinical setting: Practice development project", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 33-45.

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