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An exploration of attachment patterns among physiotherapy students and their interactions with patients in a clinical setting

Jenkins, Virginia; (2002) An exploration of attachment patterns among physiotherapy students and their interactions with patients in a clinical setting. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study involved the first interview based assessment of physiotherapy students' attachment characteristics with two aims in mind. The primary aim was to examine the distribution of Adult Attachment Interview [AAI] classifications (Main and Goldwyn, 1994) among this group of student professional caregivers. The second aim was to consider their attachment status with their clinical examination results and their emerging skills at interacting with patients in a clinical setting. Diverse literatures from health psychology, attachment theory and patient satisfaction were reviewed. Part one of the study assessed a group of physiotherapy students' responses to the AAI. The students' had a significantly different distribution of classifications compared to general samples (Van IJzendoorn and Bakermanns-Kranenburg, 1996) with a larger proportion of secure rather than insecure (dismissing or preoccupied) classifications. The second part of the study considered the associations between the same group of students and patients in two clinical settings. The Patient Doctor Interaction Scale, (Falvo and Smith, 1983) a patient satisfaction questionnaire, was given to patients to elicit their opinions on their interactions with the students. The questionnaire did not identify any distinct problems with the interactions between the patients and the students. The results from each part of the study were then analyzed together. There were limited links between the results of the interview, the patient satisfaction and the students' clinical examination results probably due to the skewed nature of both the attachment and patient satisfaction results. The correlations revealed patterns, and trends, in the data which suggest that patients may have different needs from their physiotherapy carers in different clinical settings, ie. in - patient versus out - patient locations. Important questions arise about the implications of attachment profiles for healthcare professionals and recommendations are made for further investigations.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: An exploration of attachment patterns among physiotherapy students and their interactions with patients in a clinical setting
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology; Health and environmental sciences; Adult attachment; Caregivers
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099289
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