Attitudes and beliefs of Brazilian and Australian physiotherapy students towards chronic back pain: a cross-cultural comparison

Paulo H. Ferreira*, Manuela L. Ferreira, Jane Latimer, Christopher G. Maher, Kathryn Refshauge, Ana Sakamoto, Rodrigo Garofalo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and Purpose: The attitudes and beliefs of physiotherapists and students can potentially influence the outcome of treatment of low back pain. These attitudes and beliefs may be influenced by external factors, such as ethnicity. No study that compared the attitudes and beliefs of physiotherapy students from different cultural backgrounds, such as from Brazil or Australia, towards chronic low back pain was found. The purpose of the present study was therefore to compare the attitudes and beliefs of Brazilian physiotherapy students with those of Australian physiotherapy students and to published data from North American healthcare providers, and to investigate whether a history of chronic low back pain affects students' attitudes and beliefs.

Method: A survey study design was used. Data were collected from 153 Brazilian physiotherapy students and compared with existing data from Australian physiotherapy students who had never been exposed to a chronic low back pain teaching module. Students' attitudes and beliefs were assessed by use of the HC-PAIRS questionnaire. These data were also compared with published data from North American healthcare providers.

Results: The Brazilian physiotherapy students had significantly higher scores on the HC-PAIRS questionnaire than the Australian students and the North American healthcare providers. A previous history of chronic low back pain did not affect students' attitudes and beliefs.

Conclusions: As demonstrated by higher HC-PAIR scores, the Brazilian physiotherapy students agree more strongly with the notion that low back pain justifies disability and activity limitation than do Australian physiotherapy students and North American healthcare providers. A history of chronic low back pain does not affect students' attitudes and beliefs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-23
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiotherapy research international : the journal for researchers and clinicians in physical therapy
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

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