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Malawi Medical Journal
College of Medicine, University of Malawi and Medical Association of Malawi
ISSN: 1995-7262
Vol. 25, No. 2, 2013, pp. 40-44
Bioline Code: mm13011
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Malawi Medical Journal, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2013, pp. 40-44

 en Undergraduate physiotherapy education in Malawi – The views of students on disability
Amosun, S.; Kambalametore, S.; Maart, S. & Ferguson, G.


The College of Medicine in Malawi offers an undergraduate physiotherapy programme which started in 2010. The programme aims at training competent physiotherapists who can address the needs of people with disabilities. Therefore it is important to ensure that the perceptions of physiotherapy students towards disability are appropriate.
The study explored the views of the first cohort of physiotherapy students (n=19) in the pre-medical class in the College of Medicine, University of Malawi, on disability.
An audit of the views of premedical physiotherapy students was carried out in 2010 using the Q methodology.
Two independent factors emerged which captured the views of 19 students on disability. Most of the views expressed suggest that the students empathised with people with disabilities. Participants perceived that people with disabilities can have a good quality of life like everyone else, and are as intelligent as people without disabilities. However, some participants also expressed some discomfort when around people with disabilities.
While there was consensus on some positive views, the negative viewpoints have the potential to act as a barrier to the rehabilitation of people with disabilities. The curriculum should ensure that the positive views are reinforced throughout the training programme, while the negative viewpoints are reversed.

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