Background:
Medical school curriculum contributes to future doctors’ attitude formation towards people with mental illness.

Aim:
The purpose of this study was to compare stigmatizing attitudes between medical students and faculty, analyse stigmatizing attitudes among students from different years of study and identify factors predicting stigma.

Methods:
A cross-sectional study with the use of scales measuring attitudes and social distance was designed. Online questionnaires were distributed to all students and teachers at a medical faculty in the Czech Republic.

Results:
The response rate was 32.1% (n = 308) among students and 26.7% (n = 149) among teachers. Teachers had a greater prevalence of stigmatizing attitudes than students. Increased tolerant attitudes in students were detected after the fourth year, that is, following introduction to psychiatry. Preferred specialization in psychiatry and attending two psychiatry courses predicted more tolerant attitudes. Among both students and teachers, men possessed more stigmatizing attitudes towards people with mental illness. Age was an important predictor of stigmatizing attitudes among teachers.

Conclusion:
Educators should pay closer attention to the role of medical psychology and communication training implementation, which may be beneficial to improving skills and increasing medical students’ self-esteem and feeling of competence throughout their psychiatry rotation.

Miroslava Janoušková, Aneta Weissová, Tomáš Formánek, Jiří Pasz, Lucie Bankovská Motlová

International Journal of Social Psychiatry, Vol 63, Issue 8, 2017

DOI

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Mental illness stigma among medical students and teachers [2017]