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Geropsychology content in clinical training programs: A comparison of Australian, Canadian and U. S. data
International Psychogeriatrics (2010)
  • N. A. Pachana, University of Queensland
  • E. E. Emery, Rush University
  • C. Konnert, University of Calgary
  • Erin L. Woodhead, San Jose State University
  • B. Edelstein, West Virginia University
Background: There is a worldwide shortage of mental health professionals trained in the provision of mental health services to older adults. This shortage in many countries is most acutely felt in the discipline of psychology. Examining training programs in clinical psychology with respect to training content may shed light on ways to increase interest among students and improve practical experiences in working with older adults. Methods: A large multinational survey of geropsychology content in university-based clinical and counselling psychology training programs was conducted in 2007 in the U.S.A., Australia, and Canada. Both clinical/counseling programs and internship/practicum placements were surveyed as to staffing, didactic content and training opportunities with respect to geropsychology. Results: Survey response rates varied from 15% in the U.S.A. (n = 46), 70% in Australia (n = 25) to 91.5% in Canada (n = 22). The U.S.A. and Australia reported specialist concentrations in geropsychology within graduate clinical psychology training programs. More assessment and psychopathology courses in the three countries were cited as having ageing content than psychotherapy courses. Many non-specialist programs in all three countries offered course work in geropsychology, and many had staff who specialized in working clinically with an older population. Interest in expanding aging courses and placements was cited by several training sites. Recruiting staff and finding appropriate placement opportunities with older adult populations were cited as barriers to expanding geropsychology offerings. Conclusions: In light of our results, we conclude with a discussion of innovative means of engaging students with ageing content/populations, and suggestions for overcoming staffing and placement shortcomings.
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N. A. Pachana, E. E. Emery, C. Konnert, Erin L. Woodhead, et al.. "Geropsychology content in clinical training programs: A comparison of Australian, Canadian and U. S. data" International Psychogeriatrics Vol. 22 (2010)
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