Published: 10 September, 2022 | Volume 6 - Issue 2 | Pages: 034-039
Background: Worldwide, studies show negative attitudes among medical students toward psychiatry and mental illness. The knowledge of the attitude and awareness of the undergraduate medical students toward mental health and psychiatric disorders are most important as they are going to be involved in the care of these patients either directly or indirectly during the years of their careers.
Aim: To explore, the knowledge, attitude, and behavior of undergraduate medical students towards mentally ill Patients before their planned psychiatry rotation in the fourth year of undergraduate medical study, faculty of medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt.
Objectives: To assess mental health-related knowledge, attitudes and intended behavior of undergraduate medical students towards mentally ill patients.
Subjects and methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study, conducted on 120 fourth-year undergraduate medical students affiliated with the faculty of medicine-Suez Canal University. A comprehensive sample was used to include all of the students in the fourth year of undergraduate medical study, and the study group participants completed a semi-structured questionnaire including four parts to assess their knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral responses towards individuals with mental illnesses. The data of the study was collected in September-October 2019.
Results: Based on the participants’ scores, the cut-off points estimated to dichotomize the responses as poor or good, for mental health-related knowledge, belief towards mental illness and intended behavior were, 17, 55 and 8.5 respectively. This study showed that the study participants had marginally poor mental health-related knowledge with a median score of 17, poor beliefs about mental illness with a median score of 49.5 and poor intended behavior towards the mentally ill with a median score of 7.
Conclusion: In this study, undergraduate medical students showed marginally poor mental health-related knowledge, poor stigmatizing beliefs, and behavior towards mentally ill patients. More controlled studies are needed to eliminate the inherent response biases in survey studies and to measure the outcomes of anti-stigma educational and curricular interventions.
Negative belief; Mental health; Medical students