Attitudes of physical therapy students toward patient-centered care, before and after a course in psychosocial aspects of care.
OBJECTIVE: Patient-centered care is vital in developing the therapeutic relationship. Attitude may be an important measure of student potential for giving patient-centered care. The purpose of this study was to assess attitudes toward patient-centered care in doctor of physical therapy students before and after completion of a course that addresses communication skills and psychosocial aspects of care. METHODS: In 2009, forty-nine students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy educational program at Duke University took a required course which included recommended elements for teaching patient-centered care. Students completed the Patient-Practitioner Orientation Scale (PPOS) and the Tasks of Medicine Scale (TOMS) twice prior to the course and once at course completion. Demographic data were gathered and students responded to open-ended questions at final survey administration. RESULTS: There were statistically significant differences in student attitudes toward patient-centered care after the educational experience on the PPOS and the TOMS, which were supported by students' written responses. CONCLUSION: Changes in attitudes toward patient-centered care are possible with educational intervention. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The results of this study may help to inform educators of medical professionals about the education of practitioners to develop patient-centered attitudes.
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