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Pol. Merkur. Lek (Pol. Med. J.), 2012, XXXIII/198: 334-337 Maximize

Pol. Merkur. Lek (Pol. Med. J.), 2012, XXXIII/198: 334-337

Title: The knowledge about mental disorders and the attitudes towards treatment among students – preliminary results

Authors: Mazur J., Talarowska M., Ściegienny T., Gałecki P.

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The knowledge about mental disorders and the attitudes towards treatment among students – preliminary results


Mazur J., Talarowska M., Ściegienny T., Gałecki P.

Department of Adult Psychiatry, Medical University of Lodz, Poland

Public image of psychiatry and psychiatrists is filled with stigmatizing stereotypes. Psychiatric patients also suffer from stigma. Mental illness is one of the most socially excluding stigmata.
The aim of the study was to present state of knowledge about mental disorders among medical students and to assess students’ attitudes to psychiatric treatment.
Material and methods
. The study involved 60 students from the Medical University of Lodz, a medical faculty (n = 30) and emergency medical services faculty (n = 30). The study used a questionnaire constructed by the authors, consisting of three parts: 1. socio-demographic variables, 2. attitudes towards psychiatric treatment, 3. knowledge about mental disorders.
Results
. According to the majority of respondents (95%) specialization in psychiatry is necessary. Only 40% of respondents know that to hold a first visit to a psychiatrist a referral is not necessary. Over 90% of the students did not treat visiting the psychiatrist as a reason for shame. A small percentage of them would approach this appointment at the instigation (26.6%). Respondents demonstrated a knowledge of the causes of mental disorders, but confirmed the negative stereotypes about aggression of psychiatric patients and electroconvulsive therapy (only 22 students are aware of its use in modern psychiatry). According to the majority of respondents, mental illness does not begin suddenly (78.33%), hereditary factors play a dominant role in their development (48.33%), and stress significantly increases the risk of their occurrence. Only 26 of the respondents did not agree with the finding of increased aggressiveness of psychiatric patients.
Conclusions
. The image a mentally ill person in the eyes of medical students does not differ from the stereotypical thinking of the general population. The results of this study suggest necessity of spread the knowledge of psychiatry among medical students.

Key words: psychiatric disorders, mental health, students

Pol. Merk. Lek., 2012, XXXIII, 198, 334