Document Type


Publication Date



This article, first published by Frontiers Media, is the author's final published version in Frontiers in Public Health, Volume 11, March 2023, Article number 1149725.

The published version is available at

Copyright © 2023 Ogle, Papanagnou, Reopelle, Rusnack, Feingold-Link, Poluch and Ankam.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction
in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


INTRODUCTION: Patients living with a disability experience an illness trajectory that may be uncertain. While navigating clinical uncertainty has been well-researched, health professionals' intolerance of uncertainty for patients living with disabilities has yet to be explored. We examined the relationship between medical students' intolerance of uncertainty with their attitudes towards people living with disabilities to better inform curricular efforts.

METHODS: We employed a survey-based design consisting of the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale (IUS) and Disability Attitudes in Healthcare (DAHC) Scale to medical students upon completion of core clerkships (end of third-year of training). Data were de-identified. Mean DAHC and IUS scores were compared with published values

RESULTS: Response rate was 97% (268/275 students). Mean IUS score did not differ from previously cited medical student scores, but mean DAHC score was significantly higher than previously cited scores. We observed a statistically-significant relationship between IUS and DAHC scores. Students with greater intolerance of uncertainty had lower scores for disability attitudes [

CONCLUSION: We identified a weak negative correlation between IUS and DAHC scores in medical students. Further research is needed to clarify findings and identify best practices that equip trainees with skills to care for patients with uncertain illness trajectories and patients living with disabilities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

PubMed ID