Attitudes of pharmacy students toward people with mental disorders, a six country study
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Objective To compare and contrast the extent to which pharmacy students in Australia, Belgium, Finland, India, Estonia and Latvia hold stigmatising attitudes toward people with schizophrenia and severe depression. Method Data were collected as part of the International Pharmacy Students Health Survey, a census survey of third-year pharmacy students studying at eight universities in six countries. Respondents (n = 642) indicated how strongly they endorsed six stigmatising statements about patients with schizophrenia and severe depression. Coded data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (Version 14.0). Results Between 52.5% (95% CI 46.2–58.9%) of students in Australia and 65.1% (95% CI 56.9–73.3) in Finland agreed that people with schizophrenia are a danger to others. Between 30.3% (95% CI 24.5–36.1%) of students in Australia and 60.0% (95% CI 48.5–71.5) in Estonia and Latvia agreed that people with schizophrenia are difficult to talk to. Between 9.8% (95% CI 4.0–15.6%) of students in Belgium and 43.8% (95% CI 35.3–52.3%) in Finland agreed that people with severe depression have themselves to blame. Conclusion Sub-optimal attitudes toward people with schizophrenia and severe depression were common among pharmacy students in all countries. New models of pharmacy education are required to address the attitudes and misconceptions among pharmacy students.
KeywordsAustralia Belgium Depression Estonia Finland India Latvia Mental disorders Pharmacy education Pharmacy students Schizophrenia Stigma
The authors thank Ms. Maria Tojkander and Mr. Martin Mäesalu for their assistance to translate the survey instrument into Finnish and Estonian.
Financial support for the study
No external sources of funding were sought or received to conduct the study.
Conflicts of interest
All authors declare they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the preparation of the manuscript.