Literacy of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) among Clinical Year Medical Students in Malaysia
Objective: This study was
carried out to assess the literacy of Autism Spectrum Disorder among clinical
year medical student in Malaysia.
Methodology: This was a
quantitative approach study in which the data was assessed cross-sectional and
descriptively. The target population of this study was clinical year medical
students from private and public universities. The data was collected through
the method of multi-stage sampling which includes cluster and simple random
Results: Of the 210
clinical year medical students that responded to our study, 70(33.3%) were
males and 140(66.7%) were females. There were more students from private
universities 179(85.2%) compared to public universities 31(14.8%). The total
mean score on belief about autism was 3.84±1.36 out of the maximum 7. There were only 6 (2.9%) out of 210 students
who considered to have no misconception on ASD. The total mean score on knowledge was 12.93±3.56 out of 19. It was
reported that only 3 (1.4%) students out of 210 considered to have
adequate knowledge. The findings in
this study showed that there was lack of appropriate attitude of the clinical
year medical students towards autistic individuals.
Conclusion: The recognition of
the clinical year medical students in Malaysia regarding ASD is low as we can
see that there are only 2.9% of the students have accurate belief and 1.4% of
students have adequate knowledge about ASD. There are 85.7% of the students who
see the autistic individual as normal individual, which to say that there are
still presence of 14.3% who see them as abnormal. Thus, this shows that there
are still certain level of stigmatization or discrimination which occurred. Belief
and attitudes toward autistics can be improved in such a way that medical
students would be exemplary to the public on the way autistics should be
treated. Ignorance is due to the lack of knowledge thus, medical students
should be equipped to educate the public regarding autism to eliminate the
existing ignorance that can be seen in the public’s attitude towards autism.
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