Charting physiotherapy students’ attitudes and beliefs towards people with chronic pain as they progress through their undergraduate programme: An observational study.

Jaj Mankelow, Cormac Ryan, Hayley Morris, Douglas Lauchlan, Chris Seenan, Paul Taylor, Denis Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Healthcare professionals’ attitudes towards people with chronic pain influence their clinical practice.
Objectives: To investigate physiotherapy and medical students' attitudes and beliefs towards people with chronic pain over the course of their undergraduate programme.
Methods: In this observational study, participants from two universities were recruited in first year and followed up to their final year (physiotherapist, n=62 year one, medics, n=211 year one). The Health Care Providers' Pain and Impairment Relationship Scale (HC-PAIRS) was completed annually.
Results: A two-way ANOVA found that attitudes and beliefs improved significantly (p<0.01) in both groups from first to final year by a similar magnitude (physiotherapists 9.2±11.5 (mean±SD), medics 10.0±10.0). Medics showed a gradual reduction in scores annually compared to smaller reductions for physiotherapists initially followed by a larger reduction in the final year.
Conclusions: This is the first study to chart changes in the same cohorts of medical and physiotherapy students' attitudes and beliefs towards people with chronic pain over time. Both disciplines showed similar total improvements in attitudes and beliefs but at different rates. Future work should explore which aspects of degree courses, if any, impact upon attitudes and beliefs towards people with chronic pain so that courses can be enhanced accordingly.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 Jul 2021

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Charting physiotherapy students’ attitudes and beliefs towards people with chronic pain as they progress through their undergraduate programme: An observational study.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this