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ERIC Number: EJ1016870
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1042-9670
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.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A