Chilean health professionals’ attitudes towards deafness: A cross-sectional study
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Objective: To assess the attitudes of health professionals towards Deafness and its association with sociodemographic and Deaf contact experience. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in Concepcion, Chile. The sample size was estimated in 171 health professionals. The following variables were considered: socio demographics, Deaf contact experience, and attitudes to deafness scale (ADS scale). To evaluate the association between the variables, t-test and Spearman correlation test were used (p<0.05). Results: People who had taken a LSCh course had significant more positive attitudes towards item 1 “Deaf people should learn to lipread”, with a 2 points difference and in persons who do not know a Deaf person, with 1-point difference. Also, persons who have received some kind of formation in Deafness have a better attitude in item 3 “I would like to have more Deaf friends” with 1-point difference. An inverse correlation was observed within age (rho =-0.237; p=0.0014), years of academic service (rho =-0.323; p<0.0001) or PHC service (rho =-0.1085; p=0,364). Conclusion: The attitude of health professionals towards Deafness was neutral. This attitude is not modulated by sex, type of profession, type of relationship with Deaf people, type of training in hearing disability, Chilean Sign Language Courses or degree of frequency of healthcare delivery to Deaf patients. However, it is modulated by age and years of service.
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