Assessing attitudes of patient-centered care among chiropractic students at a South African university

Fatima Ismail, Christopher Yelverton, Tamaryn Schafer, Cynthia Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Patient-centered care (PCC) is acknowledged globally as a foundation of quality patient care and key to doctor–patient rapport. Student attitudes toward PCC have been assessed in some health professions and some international chiropractic institutions but is lacking in the South African chiropractic student context. This study explores this concept and compares these attitudes to other student groups. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on chiropractic students (years 1, 3, 5, and 6) at a South African institution. The 18-item Patient–Practitioner Orientation Scale (PPOS), with scoring 1–6 on a Likert scale, was used to evaluate the attitude toward PCC by students. Higher scores were representative of more patient-centeredness. Variables were analyzed to assess for associations between variables. Mean PPOS scores were calculated, and reliability and validity were tested using Cronbach a and factor analysis. Results: There were 100 respondents (68% response rate). The PPOS showed unsatisfactory reliability in our sample. The mean scores for the overall PPOS were 3.64 (SD ¼ 0.46), the sharing subscale was 2.99 (SD ¼ 0.61), and the caring subscale was 4.29 (SD ¼ 0.58). There were small but suggestive trends noticed in PPOS scores based on age, sex, and year of study. Conclusions: Chiropractic students from our university showed a general positive tendency toward PCC with no association between age and year of study. Sex showed some suggestive descriptive trends contrary to findings in other studies. The PPOS showed poor reliability in this study, warranting consideration with its use in similar contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-102
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chiropractic Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Attitude
  • Chiropractic
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • South Africa
  • Student

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chiropractics


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