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Original Article

IJMDC. 2020; 4(12): 2094-2098

Stigmatization Attitude Toward Mental Illness Among Medical Students of King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Meshari Turjoman, Ali Alqhtani, Talal Altuwaylie, Khalid Alshehri, Abdulrahman Almalki.


Background: Medical students face significant pressures while studying at the College of Medicine, which exposes them to the risk of debilitating psychological disorders, thereby reducing the students’ quality of life and educational progress. The main objective of this study was to assess medical students’ attitudes toward people with mental illnesses based on three categories: attitude, social distancing, and disclosure.
Methodology: The sample for this cross-sectional study included 265 medical students from King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The opening minds scale for health care providers (OMS-HC) was used to test the attitudes toward mental illness.
Results: The mean stigmatization score out of 75, after reverse scoring items 7, 8, 9, 11, and 15 was 36.07 ± 7.9. The mean subscale scores for attitude, social distancing, and disclosure were 15.8 ± 4.08, 11.08 ± 3.44, and 12.02 ± 3.11, respectively.
Conclusion: The level of stigmatization of mental illness among medical students was generally low, and thus improvements are needed. Healthcare educators must advocate minimizing stigmatization within the in-training student population, as these students are society’s future doctors. Also, further studies are required to evaluate the level of stigmatization toward mental illnesses among medical students in Saudi Arabia.

Key words: Mental illness, medical students, stigmatization, attitude

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