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Am J Pharm Educ. 2011 May 10;75(4):72.

An elective psychiatric course to reduce pharmacy students' social distance toward people with severe mental illness.

Author information

1
University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, College Park, 20742, USA. bdipaula@rx.umaryland.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether an elective course on mental health could reduce pharmacy students' social distance toward people with severe mental illness.

DESIGN:

Course activities included assigned readings, class discussions, student presentations, review of video and other media for examples of social distance, presentations by patients with mental illness, and visits to hospitalized patients in a variety of psychiatric settings.

ASSESSMENT:

The Social Distance Scale (SDS) was administered at the beginning and end of the semester to students enrolled in the elective and to a comparator group of students not enrolled in the course. Pharmacy students who did not complete the elective had significantly higher SDS scores than students who completed the elective (18.7 vs. 15.6, p < 0.001). Students enrolled in the course had lower precourse SDS scores, were more likely than their peers to have a personal association with mental illness, and had a decrease in precourse to postcourse scores.

CONCLUSION:

A course designed to reduce stigma towards the mentally ill can reduce pharmacy students' social distance.

KEYWORDS:

mental illness; pharmacy students; psychiatry; social distance

PMID:
21769148
PMCID:
PMC3138358
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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