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Int J Ment Health Syst. 2012 Sep 21;6(1):21. doi: 10.1186/1752-4458-6-21.

Knowledge and attitudes of doctors regarding the provision of mental health care in Doddaballapur Taluk, Bangalore Rural district, Karnataka.

Author information

  • 1Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. g.armstrong@unimelb.edu.au.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Specialist mental health care is out of reach for most Indians. The World Health Organisation has called for the integration of mental health into primary health care as a key strategy in closing the treatment gap. However, few studies in India have examined medical practitioners' mental health-related knowledge and attitudes. This study examined these facets of service provision amongst doctors providing primary health care in a rural area of Karnataka is Southern India.

METHODS:

A mental health knowledge and attitudes questionnaire was self- administered by participants. The questionnaire consisted of four sections; 1) basic demographics and practice information, 2) training in mental health, 3) knowledge of mental health, and self-perceived competence in providing mental health care, and 4) attitudes towards mental health. Data was analysed quantitatively, primarily using descriptive statistics.

RESULTS:

This study recruited 46 participants. The majority of participants (69.6%) felt competent in providing mental health services to their patients. However, there was a substantial level of endorsement for several statements that reflected negative attitudes. Almost one third of participants (28.0%) had not received any training in providing mental health care. Whilst three-quarters of participants correctly identified depression (76.1%) and psychosis (76.1%) in a vignette, fewer were able to name three common signs and symptoms of depression (50.0%) and psychosis (28.3%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Integrating mental health into primary health care requires evidence-based up-skilling programs. Doctors in this study desired such training and would benefit from it, with a focus on both depth of knowledge and uncovering stigmatising attitudes towards people with mental health problems.

PMID:
22995756
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3499292
Free PMC Article
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