How Mental Illness is Perceived by Iranian Medical Students: A Preliminary Study
Homayoun Amini a, b, *, Reza Majdzadeh c, d, Hasan Eftekhar-Ardebili d, e, Amir Shabani f, Rozita Davari-Ashtiani g
a Department of Psychiatry, Roozbeh Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
b Psychiatry and Psychology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
c Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
d Health Center for Community-Based Participatory Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
e Department of Health Management, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
f Department of Psychiatry, Mental Health Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
g Department of Psychiatry, Imam Hosein Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
The study aimed to assess medical students' attitudes toward mental illness following a 4-week psychiatry clerkship. All fifth-year medical students from three academic centers in Tehran were asked to participate in the study. They completed the questionnaire on the last day of their 4-week psychiatry clerkship. A self-administered questionnaire was used to examine participants' Attitudes Toward Mental Illness (ATMI). One hundred and sixty eight students completed the questionnaires (88.9% response rate). In general, the students had favorable attitudes toward mental illness at the end of their clerkship, with mean (± SD) ATMI total score of 78.6 (± 8.1) (neutral score, 66.0). The students showed the most favorable opinion (95.2%) about Category 5 (stereotypic attitude toward people with mental illness) whilst they revealed the least favorable opinion (64.3%) regarding Category 1 (social relations with people affected by mental illness). In addition, the students thought that movies were on the top of influential media on shaping the attitudes toward mental illness. Overall, most of Iranian medical students had generally favorable attitudes toward people with mental illness at the end of their clerkship. Therefore, it may be expected next generation of medical doctors show more favorable attitude toward mental illness.
Keywords: Attitude, health personnel, medical students, mental disorders, public opinion, population. .
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Psychiatry, Roozbeh Hospital, South Kargar Avenue, Tehran 13337 95914, Iran; Tel: +98 21 5541 2222; Fax: +98 21 5541 9113; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org