Health service staff’s attitudes towards patients with mental illness
Stereotypes and prejudices against patients with mental illness are widespread in many societies. The aim of the present study is to investigate such attitudes among the staff and medical students, including employees and trainees, in a general university hospital.
Six hundred individuals (361 employees, 231 students) completed the following questionnaires: Level of Contact Report (LCR), Authoritarianism Scale (AS), and Opinion about Mental Illness (OMI), a scale yielding five factors (social discrimination, social restriction, social care, social integration, and aetiology). Multivariate linear regression models were applied in order to search for the simultaneous effect of many variables on the scores of OMI factors.
An important part of the sample held negative attitudes especially concerning social discrimination and restriction of the patients. Women, older and less educated staff, nursing staff, and people scoring higher on authoritarianism were more prejudiced. Higher scores on familiarity were associated with less negative attitudes.
The results indicate the need to develop sensitisation and training programs considering mental health topics among health service employees.
Keywordsattitudes familiarity hospital staff students mental illness
- 4.Adorno TW, Frenkel Brunswik E, Levinson DJ, Stanford RN (1950) The authoritarian personality. Harper, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 5.Allport GW (1954) The Nature of Prejudice. Addison-Welsey, ReadingGoogle Scholar
- 19.Economou M, Gramandani C, Richardson C, Stefanis C (2005) Public attitudes towards people with schizophrenia in Greece. World Psychiatry 4(suppl 1):40–44Google Scholar
- 20.Fakinos M, Petrogiannis K (1997) Demographic data that influence students’ attitudes towards mental illness and psychiatric patients. Psychiatriki 8:33–40Google Scholar
- 22.Garyfallos G, Adamopoulou A, Lavrentiadis G, Giouzepas J, Parashos A, Dimitriou E (1998) Medical students’ attitudes toward psychiatry in Greece: an eight-year comparison. Acad Psychiatry 22:92–97Google Scholar
- 23.Georgiadou E, Mastrogianni A, Syggelakis M, Karastergiou A (2003) Involuntary Hospitalization: the legal framework and its application. Hellenic J Gen Hosp Psychiatry 1:24–29Google Scholar
- 28.Hovland CI, Rosenberg MJ (1960) Attitude organization and change: an analysis of consistency among attitude components. Yale University Press, New HeavenGoogle Scholar
- 30.Kokkinaki F (2006) Social psychology—introduction in the study of social behavior. Tipothito, Athens GreeceGoogle Scholar
- 31.Koutrelakos J (1984) Attitudes towards mental patients in Greece. Greek Rev Soc Res 55:21–45Google Scholar
- 33.Lampidis E (2004) Stereotype, prejudice, social identity—studying the dynamics of the social re-enactment for the Roma. Gutenberg, AthensGoogle Scholar
- 34.Livaditis M (1994) Psychiatry and the Law. Papazissis, Athens GreeceGoogle Scholar
- 35.Madianos MG (2000) Introduction to Social Psychiatry. Kastaniotis, Athens GreeceGoogle Scholar
- 40.Melissa C, Marvaki C, Gourni M, Tsalkanis A, Pilatis N, Argyriou G, Papageorgiou E, Kadda O (2006) People’s attitudes towards patients with mental illness in Greece, Icus Nursing Web Journal. Available at: http://www.nursing.gr/protectedarticles/dimosieusistigma.pdf. Retrieved on 18th September 2008
- 42.Nortd C, Rossler W, Lauber C (2006) Attitudes of mental health professionals towards people with schizophrenia and major depression. Schizophr Bull 32:709–714Google Scholar
- 43.Pratkanis AR, Greenwald AG (1989) A sociocognitive model of attitude structure and function. In: Zanna MP (ed) Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. Academic Press, San DiegoGoogle Scholar