Presentation Type

Poster

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

James Laskin

Faculty Mentor’s Department

School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences

Abstract

The present study examined contact in relation to attitudes towards disabled populations over the duration of physical therapy school. A total of 55 participants included 27 first year (Y1), 14 second year (Y2) and 14 third year (Y3) Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students that were largely female (80.0%), white (98.2%), and had a mean age of 26.1 (SD = 4.1) years. Two main instruments were utilized, the Contact with Disabled Persons Scale (CDP) and the Interaction with Disabled Persons Scale (IDP), to examine the relationship between reported contact and attitudes towards persons of disability in the three groups. It was hypothesized that there would be a positive correlation between the CDP and the IDP, and that amounts of contact and positive attitudes would increase in relation to year in the PT program. The first aspect of the hypothesis was demonstrated to be correct, as significant correlations between the CDP and IDP scores were present. Between groups differences in scores were determined for both the CDP and the IDP. Further analysis determined differences in contact levels between year three students and the other two years, yet reported attitudes only differed between first year and third year students. These results lead to question as to whether clinical contact is a determinant of attitudes, or whether interpersonal contact is more salient. Further exploration of the interactions between contact and attitudes towards persons with disability in clinical contexts is necessary, as well as continuous examinations and adaptations of physical therapy programs’ disability curricula.

Keywords: disability, attitudes, physical therapy, contact hypothesis, client-provider relationships

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 17th, 11:00 AM Apr 17th, 12:00 PM

Contact and Relationship to Attitudes Towards Populations with Disability in Doctor of Physical Therapy Students

UC South Ballroom

The present study examined contact in relation to attitudes towards disabled populations over the duration of physical therapy school. A total of 55 participants included 27 first year (Y1), 14 second year (Y2) and 14 third year (Y3) Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students that were largely female (80.0%), white (98.2%), and had a mean age of 26.1 (SD = 4.1) years. Two main instruments were utilized, the Contact with Disabled Persons Scale (CDP) and the Interaction with Disabled Persons Scale (IDP), to examine the relationship between reported contact and attitudes towards persons of disability in the three groups. It was hypothesized that there would be a positive correlation between the CDP and the IDP, and that amounts of contact and positive attitudes would increase in relation to year in the PT program. The first aspect of the hypothesis was demonstrated to be correct, as significant correlations between the CDP and IDP scores were present. Between groups differences in scores were determined for both the CDP and the IDP. Further analysis determined differences in contact levels between year three students and the other two years, yet reported attitudes only differed between first year and third year students. These results lead to question as to whether clinical contact is a determinant of attitudes, or whether interpersonal contact is more salient. Further exploration of the interactions between contact and attitudes towards persons with disability in clinical contexts is necessary, as well as continuous examinations and adaptations of physical therapy programs’ disability curricula.

Keywords: disability, attitudes, physical therapy, contact hypothesis, client-provider relationships