The impact of medical education towards attitudes on mental disorders
Aim: Because the attitudes towards mental disorders of medical students whom could be viewed as future clinicians, directly associated with health practice; these skills and attitudes are considered as important achievements. The aim of this study is to evaluate the attitudes of medical students towards mental disorders and to examine associated factors.
Method: Sixty-four grade 1 and sixty-four grade 6 medical students of Ankara University Medical School were compared towards attitudes on mental disorders by using Beliefs Towards Mental Illness Scale. Also, association with variables such the gender, having a relative with mental disorder, proneness to biopsychosocial model with Beliefs Towards Mental Illness Scale were investigated.
Results: Findings: Beliefs Towards Mental Illness Scale mean total score of whole sample was 43.62±13.55, grade 1 students was 44.25±12.91 and grade 6 students was 42.98±14.24. No statistically significant difference were found between groups (U=1891.5, p=0.456). Beliefs Towards Mental Illness Scale total score with relatives having a mental disorder was 41.64±13.52 compared to total score of 44.39±13.56 without mentally ill relatives; significant difference was not found between groups (U=1435, p=0.241). Also, no statistically significant difference were found between subscales of incurability and poor interpersonal skills and dangerousness between groups (respectively, U=1641, p=0.937; U=1347, p=0.101). Only, shame subscale revealed statistically significant difference between groups (U=1305, p=0.049). When grade 1 and grade 6 students with relatives having a mental disorder compared; Beliefs Towards Mental Illness Scale total score, incurability and poor interpersonal skills, dangerousness and shame subscales, statistically significant differences were found between groups (respectively, U=64.5,p=0.003; U=77.5, p=0.012; U=67.5, p=0.004). On the other hand, 1526 people done anti-HBs; 657 (43.1%) had anti-HBs positivity. HCV test was done from 1570 people; 3 (0.2%) were positive. VDRL was done from 1565 people; VDRL positivity was detec-ted in 6 (0.4%) patients. Chest radiography was requested in 1862 and only 11 (0.6%) of the patients had fibrotic changes in favor of tuberculosis.
Conclusion: In this study, no impact of medical education towards attitudes on mental disorders was detected. However, when we compared students whom have a relative with mental disorder; grade 6 students were found to be have statistically significant positive attitudes towards mental disorders than grade 1 students both in Beliefs Towards Mental Illness Scale total score and in shame and curability and interpersonal skills subscales which is one of the prominent findings of our study.
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