Open J Psychiatry Allied Sci. 2022;13:15-20. doi: 10.5958/2394-2061.2022.00006.4. Epub 2022 Jan 29.

Evaluation of attitude and regard towards mental illness in comparison with chronic medical conditions among final year nursing students.

Poornima C, Sachin BS, Krishna Kumar A, Debata I, Suresh VC.


Background: Nursing students’ perception and attitude about illnesses play a major role in providing healthcare for suffering patients. Existing literature suggests that these students perceive mental illnesses in both positive and negative manner; however, the perception towards chronic medical conditions showed variation. Hence, our study attempted to identify whether there is a significant difference in the attitude towards mental illness and chronic medical conditions. Objectives: To study the attitude and regard towards mental illness among nursing students and compare with chronic medical conditions (diabetes mellitus and tuberculosis). Materials and methods: This is a cross-sectional study conducted among final year nursing students who had finished both theory and clinical postings in psychiatry. One hundred and fifty-seven students consented to take part in the study. Sociodemographic details, Attitude Scale for Mental Illness (ASMI), and Medical Condition Regard Scale (MCRS) were used in this study. Results: Overall, 11.46% of the students had experienced mental illness at some point in time and 22.29% had family history of mental illness. The nursing students had significant positive attitude towards mental illness in three of the six domains: benevolence (27.20), restrictiveness (9.48), and stigmatisation (9.83). Although few mean values were higher among individual items for diabetes mellitus and tuberculosis, there was no significant difference between the overall MCRS scores for mental illnesses and diabetes mellitus (p=0.14) and tuberculosis (p=0.07). Conclusion: The general attitude of nursing students towards mental illness and chronic medical conditions (diabetes mellitus and tuberculosis) were comparable. Further studies need to focus on the various aspects of stigma/attitude towards mental illnesses among nursing students.


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