Onotai L. O., Asuquo E. O., Amadi E., Amadi-Oparelli A. and Ali D. U.
Involvement of medical students in health care prolongs the patients waiting period often experienced at teaching hospitals and it could also generate feelings of insecurity among patients. For these reasons, patients may refuse to be used for medical education purposes. This study determined the overall attitude and perception of patients toward medical students’ involvement in their hospital care. It ascertained the factors that contribute to the acceptance / non-acceptance of medical students’ involvement in patients care. Finally, it established the relationship between the demographic factors of patients and their attitude towards the involvement of medical students in their care. A descriptive cross sectional study of all adult patients who attended the outpatient clinics of Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgery, General surgery, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology departments of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH). The duration of the study was from December 5th 2011 to December 12th 2011. A sample size of 240 patients was selected from the targeted population and a two stage sampling method was used. A structured, self-administered questionnaire was used to collect from the patients’ information relating to their perception and attitude towards the involvement of medical students in their care. Data were entered into a Microsoft Excel worksheet and analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16.0. Two hundred and forty questionnaires were distributed in the outpatient clinics of the four selected departments and were duly returned for the study. Respondents were aged between 18 and 67 years. The mean age was 39.30 years while the modal age group was 28-37 years. Seventy-two respondents (30%) were males while 168 (70%) were females. The majority of respondents were Christians 205 (85.4%). Most of the respondents 185 (77.1%) indicated their willingness to allow students participate in their care. The commonest 125 (67.3%) reason they gave was that “their participation was an important learning process for future doctors”. There were significant relationships between patients’ age, religion and their willingness to accept medical students’ participation in their care (P< 0.05). There was a high acceptance rate for medical students’ involvement in the care delivery among patients. Age and religious affiliation appeared to play a major role on the attitude of the respondents.
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