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Thesis

The effects of experience and frequency of contact on physical therapists' attitudes toward persons with disabilities

1 May 1989

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of experience and frequency of contact on physical therapists' attitudes toward persons with disabilities. The Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons (ATDP) scale and a personal data questionnaire were given to the 1991 and 1989 physical therapy classes at Pacific University and to 100 physical therapists licensed in Oregon. The responses of the 56 students and 58 physical therapists were scored and analyzed using the student's t-test and one way analysis of variance. Experience, frequency of contact, the level of education and area of physical therapy practiced by the subjects were not found to be significantly related to physical therapists' attitudes toward persons with disabilities (p=0.94, p=0.56, p=0.46 and p=0.68 respectively). Females had more positive attitudes toward persons with disabilities than males (p=0.0034). Subjects over 50 had more negative attitudes toward persons with disabilities than those aged 20 to 49 (p=0.05). It was concluded that physical therapists' attitudes toward persons with disabilities do not change as they gain experience.


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