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Medical and nursing students' attitudes to people with mental illness in Nigeria: a tale of two teaching hospitals

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Theddeus Iheanacho
Affiliation:
Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, email theddeus.iheanacho@yale.edu
Elina Stefanovics
Affiliation:
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Victor Makanjuola
Affiliation:
University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
Carla Marienfeld
Affiliation:
Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Robert Rosenheck
Affiliation:
Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
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Abstract

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This study compared beliefs about and attitudes to mental illness among medical and nursing students at two teaching hospitals in Nigeria with very different levels of psychiatric instructional capacity. Factor analysis of responses to a 43-item self-report questionnaire identified three domains: social acceptance of people with mental illness; belief in non-superstitious causation of mental illness; and stress, trauma and poverty as external causes of mental illness, with entitlement to employment rights. Students at the hospital with a larger, functioning psychiatry department had significantly higher scores on all three factors. Culturally enshrined beliefs and attitudes about mental illness are not uncommon among medical trainees. The availability of psychiatric education and services may have a positive effect on beliefs and attitudes.

Type
Research paper
Creative Commons
Creative Common License - CCCreative Common License - BYCreative Common License - NCCreative Common License - ND
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits noncommercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
Copyright
Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists 2014

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