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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-31

Impact of psychiatric education and training on attitude of medical students towards mentally ill: A comparative analysis

1 Department of Psychiatry and De addiction, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Smt SK Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Yatan Pal Singh Balhara
Department of Psychiatry, National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-6748.110944

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Background: A number of studies from the western world have explored the negative beliefs held by individuals towards people with mental illness. The knowledge of attitude and awareness of undergraduate medical students towards psychiatry, mental health and mental disorders is of utmost importance. Objective: The current study aims at assessment of attitudes of medical students towards mental illness and mentally ill. Materials and Methods: The study used a cross-sectional survey design. The instruments used included Beliefs toward Mental Illness (BMI) scale, Attitudes to Mental Illness Questionnaire (AMIQ). ANOVA was carried out to compare the in between group differences for the four study groups. Additionally Bonferroni correction was used to conduct the post hoc analysis. Results: The interns were significantly more likely to agree with the statement that the mental disorders are recurrent; less likely to be of thought that the behavior of people with mental disorders is unpredictable; more likely to disagree with the fact that diagnosis of depression as described in the case vignette was going to damage the career of the individual; more likely to agree with the option of inviting a depressed person to a party; more likely to believe in fact that mentally ill individuals are more likely to be criminals as compared to medical students in different professional years. Conclusions: Adequate modifications to existing medical curriculum would help improve attitude of medical students towards mentally ill.

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