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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 493728, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/493728
Research Article

Elders’ Life Stories: Impact on the Next Generation of Health Professionals

Department of Occupational Therapy, New York University, 35 West 4th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10012, USA

Received 7 May 2013; Revised 15 July 2013; Accepted 18 July 2013

Academic Editor: Gilbert B. Zulian

Copyright © 2013 Tracy Chippendale. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to pilot an enhanced version of the “Share your Life Story” life review writing workshop. The enhanced version included the addition of an intergenerational exchange, based on the content of seniors’ writings, with students planning careers in the health sciences. The researcher employed a mixed methods design. Preliminary results using descriptive analysis revealed an increase in positive images of aging and a decrease in negative images of aging among the five student participants. Qualitative results revealed six themes that illuminate the hows and whys of the quantitative results as well as additional program benefits. Feedback from students and seniors helped to refine the intergenerational protocol for a larger scale study.