Physician Assistant Students and Diabetes: Evaluation of Attitudes and Beliefs

Diane M. Fisk, Risa P. Hayes, Catherine S. Barnes, Curtiss B. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


PURPOSE Physician assistants are assuming a greater role in patient care in the US health system. The objective of this study was to examine attitudes and beliefs about diabetes among physician assistant trainees. METHODS A survey of 3 currently enrolled classes of physician assistant students was conducted using the Diabetes Attitude Survey (DAS, version 3). An additional question was presented to gather information about the level of hyperglycemia at which students would intensify diabetes therapy. RESULTS On average, students scored high on all subscales, indicating general agreement with the attitudes examined by the DAS. For 3 subscales (seriousness of type 2 diabetes, value of tight glucose control, and patient autonomy), significant differences were seen across year of training. When asked about the level of glucose control at which they would advance therapy, a wide range of responses occurred, with some being out of target. CONCLUSIONS Physician assistant students had favorable attitudes regarding type 2 diabetes. However, deficits appear to exist in understanding when to advance therapy. More studies on physician assistant students' knowledge of diabetes standards of care are required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalThe Diabetes Educator
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)


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