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A controlled trial of mental illness related stigma training for medical students

Author(s): Kassam Aliya | Glozier Nick | Leese Morven | Loughran Joanne | Thornicroft Graham

Journal: BMC Medical Education
ISSN 1472-6920

Volume: 11;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 51;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Background The evidence base for mental illness related stigma interventions in health care professionals and trainees is underdeveloped. This study aimed to examine the impact of mental illness related stigma training on third year medical students' knowledge, attitudes and behaviour related to people with mental illness. Methods A non-randomised controlled trial was conducted with 110 third year medical students at a medical school in England to determine the effectiveness of a mental illness related stigma training package that targeted their knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. Results We detected a significant positive effect of factual content and personal testimonies training upon an improvement in knowledge, F(1, 61) = 16.3, p = 0.0002. No such difference was determined with attitudes or for behaviour. Conclusions Knowledge, attitudes and behaviour may need to be separately targeted in stigma reduction interventions, and separately assessed. The inter-relationships between these components in mental health promotion and medical education warrant further research. The study next needs to be replicated with larger, representative samples using appropriate evaluation instruments. More intensive training for medical students may also be required.
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