ERIC Number: EJ1016870
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
Mental Illness among Us: A New Curriculum to Reduce Mental Illness Stigma among Medical Students
Aggarwal, Anuj K.; Thompson, Maxwell; Falik, Rebecca; Shaw, Amy; O'Sullivan, Patricia; Lowenstein, Daniel H.
Academic Psychiatry, v37 n6 p385-391 Nov 2013
Objectives: Medical students have been shown to have high levels of psychological distress, including self-stigmatization and unwillingness to seek care. The authors hypothesized that a student-led curriculum involving personal mental illness experience, given during the first-year neuroscience course, and titled "Mental Illness Among Us (MIAU)," would reduce stigma of mental illness. Method: In 2010 and 2011, students completed voluntary pre- and post-MIAU surveys measuring attitudes regarding mental illness in relation to MIAU. Also, in 2011, the authors categorized topics mentioned in student responses to an open-ended, free-response question on the course final examination. Results: Of 298 enrolled students, 250 submitted surveys that were matched pre- and post-intervention. Participants in the curriculum showed a significant difference in Social Distance, indicating an increased willingness to interact with individuals with mental illness, and a significant difference in the Mental Illness: Clinicians' Attitudes (MICA) score representing a stronger agreement with positive statements regarding mental illness. The non-participants' scores showed no changes in measures from pre-to post. Respondents most frequently reported that the neuroscience course prepared them to be a physician because it taught about compassion and the importance of treating the whole patient. Conclusion: The results indicate that participation in MIAU leads to a decrease in stigmatization of mental illness and a greater sense of compassion among UCSF medical students. This finding is consistent with previous research suggesting social and cognitive congruence among peers and peer-teachers can result in meaningful learning experiences. MIAU may represent a sustainable model to supplement current systems to promote well-being of medical trainees.
Descriptors: Mental Disorders, Social Bias, Student Attitudes, Neurosciences, Social Distance, Surveys, Medical Students, Emotional Disturbances, Intervention, Classification, Scores, Attitudes toward Disabilities, Pretests Posttests, Attitude Measures, Course Descriptions, Medical Care Evaluation, Medical Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A