Seniors Assisting in Geriatric Education (SAGE): Reynolds Program addresses the lack of training in geriatrics and provides a model for interprofessional education.




Marquez-Hall, Sandra
Lane, Yolanda
Knebl, Janice


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Seniors Assisting in Geriatric Education (SAGE) is a program that helps healthcare students develop competency with older adults and strengthen their clinical applications of medical education through an interprofessional team experience. Two objectives for this study: 1) To increase development of competency in attitudes, knowledge, and skills in the care of older adults; and, 2) To provide an Interprofessional experience where students learn about, with, and from collaborating as a team member in the context of working with an older adult. Senior volunteers 60 years and older are mentors in the program. Student teams meet with senior mentors in their homes for a series of home visits over the course of a two year period. SAGE curriculum guides program content and is delivered through an online learning system. Student teams conduct eight home visits which include conducting environmental home safety and nutritional assessments; medical history, physiology of aging, bio-psychosocial interviews; medication reconciliation, review of community resources, and end of life issues. A survey was administered to students to evaluate perceptions of learning after participating in the SAGE Program; this is a self-report model. A quantitative survey using a five-point Likert Scale evaluates student perceptions of learning. Findings (n=332) revealed modest levels of student confidence and attitudes toward geriatric patients (3.6), and comfort in performing physical examinations (3.5). Higher levels were found in recognizing unique medical and psycho-social issues (3.8); competency in interviewing, physical assessment and examination skills (3.8); and practice using ADLs and IADLs (3.8). Highest overall scores were found in environmental home safety and falls risk (3.9); use of Mini-Mental Status Exam (3.9); and real world experience (4.0). The SAGE experiential learning program provides insight into medical student perceptions toward older adults using a senior mentoring and home visit model. Medical education in geriatrics combined with experiential learning in student teams resulted in modest improvement in student perceptions of confidence and patient interaction.