Open J Psychiatry Allied Sci. 2020 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print]

Comparison of attitudes toward psychiatry among undergraduate and postgraduate medical students.

Ghosh P, Doley M, Dutta N, Bhattacharya A.

Abstract

Introduction: Attitudes toward psychiatry among medical students will have a great impact on future of expanding psychiatry and breaking barriers at multiple levels. Aims: To assess and compare the attitudes of undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) medical students toward psychiatry and assess association between sociodemographic variables and attitudes toward mental illness. Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted in a tertiary health care centre, total of 100 (50 UG and 50 PG) medical students were recruited in the study. A standardised questionnaire, Attitudes Toward Psychiatry-30 items (ATP-30) and semi-structured proforma for sociodemographic details were given to study subjects to fill up. Statistical analysis: Both quantitative and qualitative measures of data were calculated. Statistical significance was kept at p-value of <0.05, using Fisher’s exact test and Chi-square test. Data were analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21. Results: The overall ATP-30 score responses were positive (>90) in both males (88%) and females (62%). More number of positive responses were seen in both UG (68%) and PG (84%) medical students compared to only some negative responses in UG (22%) and PG (16%). This difference is significant at p-value <0.05. There is a significant difference (p-value <0.05) in attitudes among UG and PG students in item number four revealing 32% PGs wish was to be psychiatrist. Majority of the UGs and PGs agreed that UG psychiatric training is valuable. Conclusion: We have found overall good attitudes toward psychiatry in the study population but conflicting interest in taking psychiatry as career choice.

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