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Acad Psychiatry. 2013 Nov;37(6):380-4.

Effect of medical education on students' attitudes toward psychiatry and individuals with mental disorders.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study aimed to explore the effect of medical education on students' attitudes toward psychiatry and psychiatric patients, and examined the usefulness of a new evaluation tool: the 6-item Psychiatric Experience, Attitudes, and Knowledge (PEAK-6).

METHOD:

Authors studied the attitudes of 116 medical students toward psychiatry and individuals with mental disorders, using two questionnaires before and after a 12-week module of "psychosocial medicine." Results of the 30-item questionnaire Attitudes Toward Psychiatry (ATP-30) were compared with the results of PEAK-6.

RESULTS:

With the ATP-30, no change in attitudes toward psychiatry was observed at the end of the module. With the PEAK-6, the item "attitude toward psychiatry" significantly improved. Knowledge of and experience with psychiatry as well as knowledge of and experience with individuals with mental disorders improved significantly; however, attitudes toward individuals with mental disorders did not improve.

CONCLUSION:

PEAK-6 seems to be a promising tool with regard to nuanced information about psychiatric learning experiences. Participation in a psychiatric module may be associated with a positive effect on students' knowledge about, experience with, and attitudes toward psychiatry, but not attitudes toward psychiatric patients.

PMID:
24097098
DOI:
10.1176/appi.ap.11090172
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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