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Original Article

IJMDC. 2022; 6(12): 1549-1556

Attitude toward psychiatry amongst medical students in Jeddah

Wid Kattan, Ibtesam Munshi, Alhussain Alattas, Asim Alsomali, Halah Alghamdi, Wejdan Alshehri.


Background: Mental illnesses are a significant public health concern. Thus this study aimed to better understand the general views of medical students in Jeddah toward psychiatry, the influences of other factors on those attitudes, and the likelihood of psychiatry specialization.
Methods: A total of 844 medical students from six colleges in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, participated in this cross-sectional study. Students’ attitudes toward psychiatry (ATP) were measured using the ATP-18 questionnaire. The association between students’ attitude toward psychiatry with gender, nationality, monthly income, university, academic year, lecture evaluation, clinical evaluation, the likelihood of specializing in psychiatry, personal history of mental illnesses, relative/ friend with mental illness, and relative/ friend who is a psychiatrist were investigated.
Results: The mean ATP-18 score was 62.22 (SD = 7.29), indicating that the students had a positive attitude toward psychiatry overall, but had a negative view of psychiatric patients. The participants’ gender, monthly income, university, the likelihood of specializing in psychiatry, personal history of mental illness, history of relatives or friends with mental illness, history of relatives or friends who are psychiatrists, psychiatric clinical course, and lecture course evaluation were found significantly associated with ATP-18 scores.
Conclusions: The students showed an overall favorable attitude toward psychiatry and an unfavorable attitude toward psychiatric patients. The presence of de-stigmatization strategies toward mental illnesses and psychiatric patients in the undergraduate academic curriculum of psychiatry could improve students’ perspectives on mentally ill patients.

Key words: Psychiatry, medical students, questionnaire survey, ATP-18, Saudi Arabia.

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