Attitude of non mental health professionals towards the mental illness in a tertiary care center.
Background: Mental and behavioral disorders are major health problems. Stigma can prevent the care and treatment of the mentally ill. There is a gross underestimation of psychiatric comorbidities among patients by non-mental health professionals. A positive attitude of these health professionals has a crucial role in the treatment of patients suffering from psychiatric illness. The primary objective of the study is to study the attitude of various non-mental health professionals towards mental illness.
Methods: It is a cross-sectional descriptive study, conducted in one of the private medical colleges in Mangalore. The study had 76 participants consisting of doctors and nurses. Instruments used were a semi-structured demographic proforma and MICA version 4 scale (Mental illness: Clinicians attitude scale Version 4.). MICA-4 scale had 16 questions for assessing the attitudes towards mental illness.
Results: The total number of subjects included was 76 among which doctor constituted 57 and nurses 19. As the experience and age of the participants increased, a shift to the positive attitude towards psychiatric illness was noted. Specialist doctors had a higher positive attitude compared to undergraduates and nurses.
Conclusions: It is essential to have structured training in psychiatry for health care professionals.