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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2001 Oct;55(5):501-7.

Effects of a one-hour educational program on medical students' attitudes to mental illness.

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  • 1Department of Social and Environmental Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Okayama University Graduate School, Okayama, Japan.


A new 1-h educational program was developed to change attitudes towards mental illness, and was conducted on 95 first-year medical students in order to investigate its effects on their attitudes towards mental illness, using a pre- and postquestionnaire study design. A similar study without the program was conducted on 94 first-year medical students as controls. After the program, more students replied that they would accept former patients on relatively close social distance items. Favorable attitudinal changes were observed in terms of 'psychiatric services', 'human rights of the mentally ill', 'patients' independence in social life', and 'cause and characteristics of mental illness'. In contrast, no significant change was observed in the control group. These results suggest that attitudes towards mental illness could be changed favorably by this program.

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