Author(s): R N Mary Keane
Forty-six medical students were administered the Opinion About Mental Illness (OMI) questionnaire and Derogatis’ Symptom Checklist (SCL-90-R) before and after an eight-week academic and clinical course in psychiatry. Significant changes were found after the course on dimensions of Benevolence and Interpersonal Etiology, and mean scores on the community portion of the OMI scale revealed movement in a positive direction. Using multiple regression analysis the pre-test attitude scores accounted for most of the variance on post-test attitudes. Stereotyping, a very important dimension of the OMI scale, was not rejected on either the pre-course or post-course measures. The students’ own psychological distress did not have an effect on attitude change.