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Exploring attitudes of medical students towards intellectual disabilities

Abdi, Rubab and Metcalf, Elizabeth 2020. Exploring attitudes of medical students towards intellectual disabilities. Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities 14 (5) , pp. 125-136. 10.1108/AMHID-01-2020-0002

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PurposeThis paper aims to determine whether an inclusive teaching session changes student attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities (ID). To investigate the impact of an inclusive teaching session in terms of student perceptions.Design/methodology/approach66 years 4 students at Cardiff University completed the attitudes towards disabled people form B questionnaire (ATDP-B) before and after a communication skills session on ID. Before and after scores were collated and compared using a paired t-test analysis. Common perceptions were identified using anonymised ATDP-B results to conduct five semi-structured interviews and one focus group with nine students. The common perceptions were discussed, alongside how the teaching session tackled them and suggestions for further improvements.FindingsMean ATDP-B score before the teaching session was 115 (SD = 14.5). Mean ATDP-B score after the teaching session was 122 (SD = 17.2). The teaching session improved scores in the ATDP-B by a mean of 6.92 (4.69, 9.16). A paired t-test found this to be a statistically significant difference, t(65) = 6.20, p < 0.001. Qualitative data was thematically analysed and three main themes were identified: Student identity, patient contact and curriculum content.Originality/valueThis is the first study to investigate the origin of the negative attitudes of medical students, and found they stem from a lack of confidence in their abilities and failure to develop a professional identity. The impact of the teaching session stems from its focus on meaningful patient contact and identifying and overcoming communication barriers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 2044-1282
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 16 May 2020
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2020 18:07

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