Author(s): Iheanacho T, Marienfeld C, Stefanovics E, Rosenheck RA
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: This study assessed beliefs about mental disorders and changes in those beliefs following an educational intervention for a convenience sample of Nigerian medical and nursing students. METHODS: A 43-item questionnaire was used to assess perceptions regarding mental disorders and attitudes toward people with mental illness before and after a 4-day educational intervention. RESULTS: Factor analysis identified four domains: (1) socializing with people with mental illness, (2) belief in witchcraft or curses as causes of mental illness, (3) favorable attitudes toward normalization of the lives of people with mental illness, and (4) biopsychosocial approaches to mental illness. The greatest changes were in attitudes favoring normalization of the lives of people with mental illness (p = 0.0002), socializing with the mentally ill (p = 0.01), and biopsychosocial perspectives on mental illness (p = 0.01). CONCLUSION: Brief educational interventions may alter some stigmatizing negative attitudes toward mental illness in healthcare trainees in low- and middle-income countries.
This article was published in Acad Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Psychiatry