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Evaluation of nursing and medical students’ attitudes towards people with disabilities
Article first published online: 26 MAY 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Clinical Nursing
Volume 19, Issue 15-16, pages 2271–2279, August 2010
How to Cite
Sahin, H. and Akyol, A. D. (2010), Evaluation of nursing and medical students’ attitudes towards people with disabilities. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19: 2271–2279. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.03088.x
- Issue published online: 14 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 26 MAY 2010
- Accepted for publication: 7 July 2009
- curriculum planning;
- education programme;
- nursing students;
Aims and objectives. The aim of this study is to assess the attitudes of students towards disabled people and provide suggestions to make necessary changes in the curricula.
Background. Disabled people suffer from rejection, exclusion and discrimination. The undergraduate education of future health professionals should include processes of critical thinking towards and analysis of the disabled.
Design. Cross-sectional design was used.
Methods. All the preclinical medical and nursing students in our institution were included in study. Data were collected using the Turkish Attitudes towards Disabled Person Scale (TATDP) and demographical variables. TATDP Scale was scored according to five-point Likert Scale.
Results. Students’ mean attitude score is 120·57 (SD 15·24). Subscale mean scores are 53·61 (SD 7·25) for compassion (CP), 50·47 (SDS 7·26) for social value (SV) and 16·49 (SD 2·89) for resource distribution (RD). Whilst nursing students had less contact with the disabled, medical students had a closer contact with them. Medical students acquired more prior knowledge about attitudes towards the disabled. Total attitude scores of female students were above the students’ mean attitude score when compared to those of male students.
Conclusion. Only if early contact is established with patients and the disabled, practical educational strategies are adopted, and the students are provided with information on attitudes about the disabled, will a social model of disability be introduced into the curriculum.
Relevance to clinical practice. This study results were presented to curriculum planning committees of nursing and medical schools, so that they should use them as needs assessment data in developing a disability awareness curriculum. The curriculum will be implemented in cooperation with not only schools but also other social institutions. For instance, clerkship applications will be accomplished by cooperating with nursing homes and organisations of disabled people.