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Does clinical exposure to patients in medical school affect trainee doctors' attitudes towards mental disorders and patients?--A pilot study.

The Medical journal of Malaysia

psychology, Adult, Attitude of Health Personnel, Education, Medical, methods, Female, Humans, Male, Mental Disorders, Pilot Projects, Psychiatry, education, Students, Medical

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      Stigmatising attitudes towards mental illness may improve with clinical exposure during medical school training. Attitudes of 48 fourth year medical students in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia were assessed before and after their compulsory attachment in Psychiatry, using the Attitude Towards Psychiatry-30 (ATP) and the Attitude towards Mental Illness (AMI) questionnaires. ATP scores improved significantly with training (104.8 and 114.4, pre- and post-attachment respectively) as did AMI scores (63.4 and 68.1 respectively). Both improvements were statistically significant. (ATP: z = 4.55, p < 0.0005) (AMI: z = 3.75, p < 0.0005). Attitudes towards mental illness appeared to have become more favourable with clinical training in psychiatry.

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