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Free Content Physician Assistants' Attitudes about Obesity and Obese Individuals

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The purpose of this study is to examine physician assistant (PA) attitudes about obesity and obese individuals. Methods: Cross sectional study surveying graduate PA members of the New York State Society of Physician Assistants. Participants completed the Fat Phobia Scale and provided years in practice, gender and age. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA with p<0.05. Results: Mean score for the Fat Phobia Scale was 3.58 ± 0.51 which represents an average amount of obesity bias. There was significantly less bias among participants ≥51 years of age and all other groups, as well as a statistically significant difference between PAs practicing 5-10 years and those practicing >20 years (p<0.05). Conclusion: This study documents a negativity towards obese people among PAs that is documented within other health professions as well. As with any bias, the first step in reducing prejudice and stereotyping is to recognize it within oneself.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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  • The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.
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