203754 Evaluation of Differences and Changes in Medical Student Attitudes through Assessment and Comparison of Two Attitudinal Inventories: The HPATHI and ATHI

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:15 AM

Benjamin T. King , University Medical Center at Brackenridge, Austin, TX
David S. Buck, MD, MPH , Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Carlie A. Brown , Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Background: Provider attitudes toward homeless patients can act as a barrier to quality of and access to care and therefore require examination. The Attitudes Toward Homelessness Inventory (ATHI) and the Healthcare Professionals' Attitudes Toward the Homeless Inventory (HPATHI) are two previously validated surveys that measure an individual's values and perceptions regarding the homeless population. Since 2003, Baylor College of Medicine has administered both items to 71 1st and 3rd year medical students that attend a student-run free clinic for the homeless.

Methods: Among the many questions asked, the study primarily examined the effect that time in medical school from 1st to 3rd year has on attitudes toward the homeless and the effect that participation in the LACE program has on attitudes.

Results: The overall scores on the ATHI or HPATHI did not vary significantly with experience or significantly change from 1st to 3rd year (ATHI 3.20-3.21; HPATHI 2.57-2.57). Similarly, scores on both tests did not significantly change during the course of the LACE program (ATHI 3.29-3.26; HPATHI 2.56-2.53). While there were no significant changes in the overall test scores, certain questions and factor groups within the surveys did.

Conclusions: The results of these tests show responses that differ from previous reporting that demonstrated changes in attitudes of medical students, decreasing over time and improving with previous experience. In contrast, students participating in the free clinic show a decreased tendency to change attitudes, although the latter effect was observed in the clinical student group.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the current academic understanding of attitudes toward homeless healthcare and family practice in the process of medical education Identify interventions and strategies used in the past to improve these attitudes and the current curriculum and practicum opportunities at Baylor College of Medicine and UT-HSC Houston School of Medicine regarding homeless healthcare Describe the development and validation of the Health Professionalsí Attitudes Toward the Homeless Inventory (HPATHI) Explain the methods used for assessing attitudes toward homeless health care used in this study Compare attitude scores between different groups of medical students and between first and third-year students Compare changes in scores between two validated measures of attitudes toward the homeless: Attitudes Toward Homelessness Inventory (ATHI) and HPATHI Identify factors associated with improved attitudinal scores in first time survey takers and improved scores over time. Discuss the impact of these results for targeting or tailoring interventions in the future

Keywords: Homeless Health Care, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Coauthor of editorial regarding this study: Buck DS, King BT. Medical Student Self-Efficacy and Attitudes toward Homeless Patients. Virtual Mentor. 2009;11(1):32-37. http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2009/01/medu1-0901.html Accessed January 8, 2009. I assisted with data management and performed the analysis on this project. I served as a clinic manager and director at the HOMES clinic 2005-2008.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.