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Comparing the attitude of medical and non-medical students toward mentally ill patients in Zahedan in 2014

Authors: Roghaieh Keykha, Saeideh Varesteh and Ali Navidian

Int J Med Res Health Sci.586-590 | pdf PDF Full Text

One of the important and complex issues of health is mental illnesses. There are various attitudes toward them in
society. Therefore, it is very important to investigate the attitude and attitudinal structure of society people. As
medical science students will direct the mental health team in health centers, the objective of this study is to
investigate and to compare the attitude of medical science studentsand non-medical science students toward
mentally ill patients in Zahedan. This study is a descriptive-comparative research conducted on 520 third and fourth
year students of medical sciences (medicine, nursing, laboratory science) and non-medical sciences (psychology,
law, literature) by using census method in Zahedan University in 2014. Tools used to collect data included
demographic characteristics questionnaire and Day’s Mental Illness Stigma Scale, in which respondent expressed
his view on mentally ill patients in 28 questions with 7-point Likert scale. Data were analyzed using SPSS-22
software and using descriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation) and analytical statistics (t-test). Findings of
this study showed that there is a significant difference between two groups in terms of passing educational courses
theoretically and practically. However, significant difference was not found between two groups in terms of other
demographic variables. In addition, the mean stigma score in Medical Group was 97.28 ± 30.75, and it was 111. 67
± 31.51 in non-medical Science Group. Independent t-test showed significant difference between the two groups (Pvalue=
0.000), indicating more positive attitude in Medical Group. The results of this study indicated the importance
and necessity of proper planning to improve attitude of all students and people of society through appropriate
education and training.

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