International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Open Access

ISSN: 2329-9096

+44 1300 500008


Attitudes of Nurses Toward Children With Disabilities: The Attitudes of Nursing Students Toward Children With Disabilities: An Experimental Design

Kathleen Cervasio and Kimberley Fatata-Hall

The attitudes of U. S. nurses toward children with disabilities have not been adequately measured over time and after an educational intervention. Disability content has not been a priority in nursing education and, if present, the focus has been on adults with disabilities. The attitudes of nurses play a significant role in the provision of quality healthcare services they provide for children with disabilities. This quantitative, experimental research measured the attitudes of graduating nursing students (N=88) toward children with disabilities utilizing the Attitudes Towards Disabled Persons Scale (ATDP-B) before and after disability education. The control group consisted of 44 nurses while a group of 44 nurses received the treatment. The differences between the groups was measured at pretest (time 1), immediate posttest (time 2) after an educational module, and delayed posttest (time 3) one month follow up, utilizing repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). Multivariate tests for within subject effect of the ATDP-B demonstrated that the dependent variable of attitudes as measured by the ATDP-B scale changes over time and after an educational module based on children with disabilities were (F=[2,85]=28.59, p<0.01). It was discovered that the ATDP-B level changes over time, dependent on the group (F=[2,85]=51.15, p<0.01). Also, the between subjects main effect of group was significant across ATDP-B measurements (F=[1,86]=32.53, p<0.01) (Table 6 and 7). The results of this research suggest that there is a significant difference in means of ATDP-B measurements between groups which indicates that the graduating nurses who received disability education performed significantly better on an assessment of attitudes toward children with disabilities than those who did not receive the education. The findings of this research should compel nursing faculty to reevaluate curriculum content, provide specific attitude measurements of nursing students at various levels of education, and develop protocols that can assist students in learning to care for children with disabilities. Future research on the attitudes of nurses toward children with disabilities can also be designed to measure attitudes of nurses in several nursing education programs across the U. S, or evaluate the attitudes of numerous other healthcare professionals caring for children with disabilities.