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Knowledge and perceptions of newly graduated medical practitioners in Malaysia of their role in medical care of people with developmental disabilities
journal contributionposted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by Judith Moyle, T Iacono, M Liddell
Improving content and consistency on developmental disabilities in undergraduate medical curricula has been recommended as a means of improving health outcomes for people with developmental disabilities. Although often the subject of studies in Western countries, little is known about content on developmental disabilities in undergraduate curricula in developing countries. A study was undertaken to: (1) explore content and experience with developmental disabilities received in undergraduate training by medical practitioners in Malaysia; and (2) explore perceptions of their role in the identification and management of developmental disabilities in practice. Comparisons were made according to location of training. Data were collected using a 107-item questionnaire that was administered to 230 newly graduated house officers on their first rotations in seven public hospitals in Peninsula Malaysia. Deficits and inconsistencies were indicated in both content and experience of developmental disabilities during training. Uncertainty about their role in the identification and management of developmental disabilities was evident. Greater inconsistencies and deficits were evident for respondents trained in Eastern and Middle Eastern countries compared with those trained in Malaysia and Western countries. Results suggest a need for increased content, consistency, and intentional exposure in relation to developmental disabilities during undergraduate training across all training settings.