DEVELOPMENT OF A QUESTIONNAIRE AND SUBSEQUENT INVESTIGATION OF STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF PRIMARY PROGRESSIVE APHASIA
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPrimary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by language and communication deterioration in the initial stages of the disease (1-3 years). Given that PPA progresses over the course of years, patients with PPA require interdisciplinary teams of practitioners to provide effective care, including physicians and speech-language therapists. These practitioners should be well-educated about and hold respectful attitudes towards PPA so that patients receive optimal care. The goal of this study was to investigate university students' perceptions of PPA as characterized by both baseline knowledge and positivity of attitude. New scales-- the PPA Knowledge Scale (abbreviated PPAk; assessing knowledge of PPA) and the PPA Attitudes Scale (abbreviated PPAa; assessing attitudes towards PPA)-- were developed for this purpose and administered alongside previously validated scales related to aging and dementia. Pre-health and communication science disorder students were surveyed initially because these students will become the next set of practitioners for patients with PPA. The results indicated that while knowledge of PPA among surveyed students is lacking, attitudes towards PPA are relatively positive. Suggestions for future research include continued evaluation of the PPAk and PPAa scales. There is a need for educational initiatives to provide students with more instruction regarding PPA in the health related fields at the undergraduate level.
Degree ProgramPhysiology and Medical Sciences