Document Type : Original Article


Medical Education Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


CONTEXT: Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PMR) is a specialized clinical field of musculoskeletal
diseases and physical impairment that is unknown for most of the medical students.
AIMS: This study aimed to assess medical students’ attitude and knowledge toward PMR and its
role in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal diseases.
SETTING AND DESIGN: This cross‑sectional study was done on 175 medical students of Isfahan
University of Medical Sciences from 2015 to 2016. Sample population was selected by random
sampling among 350 students.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Participants were evaluated by a research‑made questionnaire
with confirmed validity and reliability. This questionnaire included 36 questions divided in four parts
including demographic data, knowledge, attitude, and performance ranking.
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS USED: Data were analyzed using SPSS 20. Statistical test for quantitative
and qualitative variables was carried out by mean ± standard deviation and percentage or number,
respectively. For analyzing variables, Student’s t‑test and Chi‑square test were used.
RESULTS: In this study, 150 medical students with a mean age of 24.48 ± 1.48 years participated
of which 40% of them were male. The mean score of Student’s knowledge about PMR and its role
in diagnosis and treatment of disorders was 5.16 ± 1.90, and 91.3% had low level of knowledge.
The mean score of student’s attitude toward PMR and its role in the diagnosis and treatment of
musculoskeletal problems was 3.33 ± 0.46, and 69.3% had attitude level above the average.
Evaluation of student’s performance showed that when they manage patients with musculoskeletal
problems as general physician, they refer the patients to physiatrists at the first step if it is necessary.
CONCLUSION: Understanding the factors influencing the attitudes and knowledge of medical students
is prime to help establishing the roles, providing proper facilities, carrying out successful planning to
train expert physicians and create a motivated environment in medical schools.


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