Knowledge and attitudes of physiotherapy students at the University of the Western Cape towards obesity
Wasiu, Awotidebe Adedapo
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The increasing prevalence of obesity in both developed and developing countries and its associated health risks have brought the issue of obesity prevention and management a public health debate. Health care professionals have been identified to have a role to play in directing the future of obesity management. However, among the numerous barriers for effective management of obesity is lack of knowledge of causes of obesity and negative attitudes towards obese patients by health care professionals. With limited or no studies available for the physiotherapy setting, the aim of the study was to determine the knowledge and attitudes of students of Physiotherapy at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa towards obese individual. A descriptive quantitative research design using a cross-sectional survey was used. One hundred and seventy five (175) students of Physiotherapy took part in the study using a convenience sampling technique. Data was collected by means of a structured, self-administered questionnaire adopted from the Obesity Risk Knowledge-10 scale, Beliefs About Obese Person scale and the Fat Phobia Scale. A response rate of 77.3% was obtained. Descriptive and inferential statistics were employed to describe the relationship and association between variables. Alpha level was set at 0.05. The mean age of the sample was 21.54 (SD = 4.903). Females constituted 73.5% and males 26.5% of the sample. The results showed that majority of the students of Physiotherapy (85%) reported having received no formal education regarding obesity.