Knowledge and attitudes: aspects of occupational therapy students' perceptions of the handicapped

Mary T. Westbrook*, Barbara J. Adamson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Scales measuring attitudes towards the handicapped fail to evaluate accuracy of knowledge. Occupational therapy students' (N = 233) knowledge of the handicapped was tested by 18 factual questions. Students also completed the Attitudes Toward Disabled People (ATDP) Scale (Yuker, Block and Younng, 1970). Students revealed negatively biased perceptions of the problems and skills of the handicapped, overestimated community assistance received, and were largely unaware of sex differences in handicaps. Senior students had more positive attitudes on the ATDP, and were somewhat better informed than first year students. There was no association between knowledge and ATDP scores. The need to address cognitive as well as affective and behavioural aspects of negative attitudes is discussed. 1989 Occupational Therapy Australia Limited

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-130
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1989
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • disability
  • handicap
  • health professionals
  • rehabilitation

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