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Research Article  |   July 2004
Factors Influencing Occupational Therapy Students’ Attitudes Toward Persons With Disabilities: A Conjoint Analysis
Author Affiliations
  • Hector W. H. Tsang, PhD, is Associate Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom, Hong Kong; rshtsang@inet.polyu.edu.hk
  • Fong Chan, PhD, is Professor of Rehabilitation Psychology, Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, University of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Chetwyn C. H. Chan, PhD, is Professor and Associate Department Head, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom, Hong Kong
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Meanings, Experiences, and Perceptions of Adults With Physical Disabilities
Research Article   |   July 2004
Factors Influencing Occupational Therapy Students’ Attitudes Toward Persons With Disabilities: A Conjoint Analysis
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2004, Vol. 58, 426-434. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.4.426
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2004, Vol. 58, 426-434. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.4.426
Abstract

OBJECTIVES. The purpose of this study was to examine factors influencing occupational therapy students’ context-specific attitudes toward persons with disabilities.

METHOD. Attitudes of 128 occupational therapy students toward placement of a residential treatment facility in their community were measured by a conjoint measurement of 16 stimulus cards (representing persons with varying disability types, gender, age, employment history, and history of aggression) and their responses were analyzed using conjoint analysis.

FINDINGS. Disability type and threat of violence were significantly higher on important scores compared with the other attributes across all students. Additionally, Year-Three students had significantly higher importance scores for the employment attribute than Year-One students.

CONCLUSION. Conjoint analysis can be used effectively, as an indirect measure, to study factors contributing to the formation of attitudes–preferences for persons with disabilities in specific social contexts.