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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 2003;36(3): 239-247.
The Difference of Locus-of-control among Western Medical School Students, Oriental Medical School Students, and Non-Medical School Students.
Kui Son Choi, Sunhee Lee, Hanjoon Lee
1National Cancer Center Research Institute, Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Branch, Korea.
2Department of Preventive Medicine, Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, Korea.
3Marketing Department, Haworth College of Business, Western Michigan University, USA.
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to examine the difference in attitude toward health-specific locus-of-control and medical care among western medical students, oriental medical students, and non-medical school students. METHODS: The subjects of this study were 667 students who agreed to respond the questionnaire : 212 western medical school students, 190 oriental medical school students, and 265 non-medical school students. The health-specific locus of control was measured by the structured questionnaire developed by Lau and Ware. The attitude toward western and oriental medicine was also measured by the questionnaire. RESULTS: Western medical students and non-medical school students were more likely than oriental medical students to place high value on 'the provider control over health' and 'the general threat to health' scales (F=20.47, F=19.98). But oriental medical school students ranked 'the self control of health' scale as more important than any other locus of control scale (F=19.34). The health specific locus of control was also different from the grade. When the grade was increased, 'the provider control over health' scale was slowly decreased, especially in western medical students and non medical school students. However, the 'general threat to health' scale was increased in oriental medical students. Western medical school students expressed more positive attitude toward western medicine. Oriental medical school students put a higher score on oriental medicine. Nevertheless, as the grade was increased, the positive attitude toward oriental medicine slightly decreased in oriental medical school students. CONCLUSIONS: There is a difference in health-specific locus of control and attitude toward medicine among western medical students, oriental medical students, and non-medical students. The locus of control and attitude of medical students towards medicine may affect both how they behave towards patients and how they help shape future public policy. Therefore, interdisciplinary educational initiatives may be the best way to handle this issue.
Key words: Alternative medicine; Locus of control; Western medicine; Oriental medicine
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