154028 Aging Anxiety in Canadian and American Undergraduates

Monday, November 5, 2007

Andrew Costa, BSc MS Candidate , Health Studies and Gerontology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
Kelly Anthony, PhD , Health Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
Aging anxiety has been virtually neglected in extant research.Aging anxiety(AA) is an important aging construct as it is a mediating factor in an individual's adjustment to the aging process as well as their behaviour toward elderly persons. This study aimed to determine whether the current AAS AA scale Lasher et al. (1993) should be revised to include an additional 5th dimension: Healthcare and Financial Concerns. Secondly, the study investigated whether healthcare policy has an effect on AA. Previously, studies have identified the physical, psychological, and social dimensions of AA, but none have considered the anxiety created by healthcare costs and financial concerns that result from healthcare policy. A modified AAS AA scale was distributed to undergraduates in Canada and the US. Overall, the results indicate that healthcare affordability and quality are significant factors that affect AA and that the modified AA scale provides a more complete assessment of AA. Americans exhibited a significantly higher AA score when compared to the Canadian sample, particularly with respect to healthcare affordability and healthcare quality. This result suggests that healthcare policy may have a significant effect on aging anxiety.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss differences in American and Canadian undergraduates' perceptions of aging and anxiety related to aging as a result of differences in health care systems.

Keywords: Aging, Health Care Reform

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.