|Attitudes towards people with disabilities : a comparison between the health care students and professionals in Hong Kong
|Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
People with disabilities -- China -- Hong Kong -- Public opinion
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
|vii, 95 leaves ; 30 cm
|In 2002, local census showed that 6.2% of the population in Hong Kong had disabilities and required different types of rehabilitation services. In determining the allocation of resources to such service delivery, it is hypothesized that perception of people towards the disability is quite significant. People are not only referred to the general public or government officials but direct service providers like health care students and professionals. This study thus aimed to explore about the attitudes of the health care students and professionals towards people with disabilities in Hong Kong, a Chinese community. The attitudes of four groups of students and professionals (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work and nursing) were assessed by a well-documented Attitude Toward Disabled Persons scale (ATDP) through mail-questionnaire methodology. Comparisons were made among different groups of students and professionals in order to gain insight of factors affecting their behaviors. In this study, 511 students and 489 professionals were selected randomly from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and various kinds of rehabilitation settings. Results indicated that the overall mean ATDP score for the respondents was comparatively a little bit lower than their counterparts in the foreign countries. The professionals had a significantly higher attitudinal score than the students. Among the four disciplines, nurses held the least favorable attitudes towards people with disabilities. In addition, their attitudes were less positive than the student nurses. On the other hand, the social work students had less favorable attitudes than their professional social workers, as well as other types of the health care students. The data analysis also revealed that the mean ATDP scores for the occupational therapists and occupational therapy students were above the overall average. Unlike the physiotherapists, the mean ATDP score of the physiotherapy students was below the overall average. In addition, age, study year, education, knowledge and contact were significant factors to attitudes among the student and professional respondents. The contact quality was found to be a dominant factor in affecting the attitudinal scores. Thus, recommendations were made to modify the current training curriculum or enhance service quality to develop more favorable attitudes towards people with disabilities.
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