Article Type: Original Articles
Attitudes of Resident Physicians Working in a University Hospital Towards Schizophrenia
Emin Oryal Taskin, Kadir Ascibasi, Fikret Poyraz Cokmus, Erol Ozmen


Objective: To evaluate the attitudes of resident physicians working in a university hospital (future specialists) towards schizophrenia.

Methods: The data of 170 resident physicians who completed the questionnaires in full were included in the research. The data collection procedure was completed in 6 months by two resident psychiatrists using the sealed envelope method for the questionnaires (an 11-item socio-demographic and an 8-item professional information form and a 32-item attitude towards schizophrenia survey that was prepared by the Psychiatric Research and Training Center). The effect of the sociodemographic and occupational variables on the responses to the questionnaire items was tested using logistic regression analysis.

Results: The mean age of the participants was 28.07±2.40 (min=24-max=42) years. Approximately 98.8% (n=168) described schizophrenia as a ‘disorder’ and 78.2% (n=133) as a ‘psychiatric disorder.’ Some 64.1% (n=109) of the participants stated that schizophrenia was a congenital disease, 81.2% (n=138) said it was a curable disease, 85.9% (n=145) though that it could be treated with medication, 60% (n=102) believed that the medications used for treating schizophrenia would cause dependence, and 81.8% (n=139) stated that the medications used would involve serious adverse effects. Nearly 70.6% (n=120) of the participants stated that they could work with someone with schizophrenia and 45.9% (n=78) said that they could marry someone with schizophrenia. The presence of psychiatric diagnoses in a close friend (social acceptance of patients) was found to be an influential variable.

Conclusions: The resident physicians had high-level knowledge of schizophrenia as a psychiatric disorder, but their knowledge on the effects and adverse effects of the medication was insufficient or incorrect. The sample’s social acceptance of patients was generally good, despite putting social distance in situations requiring more personal intimacy. Based on these results, to treat schizophrenia more successfully, we need to either revise psychiatry curriculum in medical education or provide targeted skill training for non-psychiatric physicians in order to adopt more positive attitudes towards patients with schizophrenia and refer them appropriately to psychiatrists when needed.

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Key words: Attitude, non-psychiatric physicians, resident physicians, schizophrenia, stigma
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 2019;9(4):147-157
Online ISSN: 2636-834X
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