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Title: Attitudes towards psychiatry amongst medical and nursing students in Singapore
Authors: Samari, E.
Seow, E.
Chua, B.Y.
Ong, H.L.
Lau, Y.W.
Mahendran, R. 
Verma, S.K.
Xie, H.
Wang, J.
Chong, S.A.
Subramaniam, M.
Keywords: Attitudes
Medical students
Nursing students
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Citation: Samari, E., Seow, E., Chua, B.Y., Ong, H.L., Lau, Y.W., Mahendran, R., Verma, S.K., Xie, H., Wang, J., Chong, S.A., Subramaniam, M. (2019). Attitudes towards psychiatry amongst medical and nursing students in Singapore. BMC Medical Education 19 (1) : 91. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Background: A shortage of specialists in psychiatry, both in terms of psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses is evident worldwide. While there are multiple factors leading to an individual's decision to specialize in psychiatry, the individual's perceptions and attitudes towards psychiatry tend to play an essential role. This study thus aimed to explore attitudes towards psychiatry amongst medical and nursing students in Singapore and examine factors associated with these attitudes. Methods: The present cross-sectional study used an online web survey tool to assess attitudes towards psychiatry amongst 502 medical and 500 nursing students in Singapore using the Attitudes towards Psychiatry (ATP-18) scale. Descriptive statistics and multiple linear regressions were used to examine associated factors (sociodemographic and education). Results: The majority of students in this population endorsed favourable attitudes towards the following aspects of psychiatry: challenges within psychiatry, importance of psychiatry and psychiatric skills, treatment efficacy and view towards psychiatrists, but had generally unfavourable attitudes towards psychiatric patients. Male participants (compared to female; ? = - 1.190, p < 0.05), participants in the middle income group (compared to higher income group; ? = - 0.945, p < 0.05), participants who rated average for psychiatry lecture course and psychiatry clinical placement course (compared to above average; ? = - 1.654, p < 0.05; ? = - 1.181, p < 0.05) had a less favourable attitude to psychiatry. Not surprisingly, participants who were more likely to specialize in psychiatry (? = 2.053, p < 0.001) had a more favourable attitude towards psychiatry compared to those who were less likely to specialize in psychiatry. Conclusions: The majority of students in this study endorsed unfavourable attitudes towards patients in the psychiatric setting. The present psychiatry curriculum could be improved to nurture the development of empathetic attitudes towards people with mental illness. De-stigmatization strategies could also be integrated into other curricula besides psychiatry. © 2019 The Author(s).
Source Title: BMC Medical Education
ISSN: 1472-6920
DOI: 10.1186/s12909-019-1518-x
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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