Context: Globally, psychiatry as a subject, psychiatrists as professionals, and patients with psychiatric disorders are subjected to cultural stereotypes and negative attitude by the general population. What is of alarming concern is that these prejudices exist within the medical community as well. Aims: This study aims at evaluating the perception, knowledge, and attitude toward psychiatric disorders, therapeutic modalities used in psychiatry, psychiatry as a subject and psychiatrists as professionals among undergraduate medical students in Karnataka. Settings and Design: This is a descriptive, cross-sectional type of study conducted in three medical colleges located in Karnataka. Materials and Methods: A sample of 500 students from all three professional phases of MBBS was selected using purposive sampling. A semistructured prevalidated questionnaire was used to assess the perception, knowledge, and attitude of undergraduate medical students toward psychiatric disorders and psychiatry. Statistical Analysis: Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences, version 16.0. Results: The undergraduate medical student population had significant shortcomings in knowledge and attitude pertaining to psychiatric disorders, more glaring in the initial years of education. A comparatively positive opinion was obtained regarding psychiatry as a subject and psychiatrists as professionals, which may reflect the changing trends and concepts, both in society and medical community. Conclusion: This study highlights the need for better educational measures at undergraduate level in order to shape a positive attitude of the health care providers towards psychiatry, which is essential for ensuring better care for patients as well as reduction of stigma surrounding psychiatric disorders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health