Objective: The objective was to develop an educational module on stigma, empathy, and attitude towards mental illness and evaluate its effectiveness among undergraduate medical students. Methods: In phase I, the authors developed the Stigma, Empathy, and Attitude (SEA) module consisting of interactive teaching-learning components through an experts-based consensus (two rounds of Delphi). In phase II, the effectiveness of the module was evaluated. SEA module (one-hour interactive lecture and three hours’ small group teaching) was delivered to the fifth-semester undergraduate medical students (N = 240) once during their psychiatry rotation. Students were assessed with the Mental Health Knowledge Schedule (MHKS), Mental Illness: Clinician's Attitudes (MICA) scale, Jefferson Scale for Empathy (JSE), and Social Distance scale (SDS), to measure mental health knowledge, attitude, empathy, and stigma, at baseline and after delivery of the module. Feedback on the module was obtained from the participating students and faculty. Results: Baseline data was obtained for 157 students, and post-intervention assessment was completed for 66 students. There was a significant increase in MHKS score (p < 0.001, Cohen's d = 0.59) and a significant reduction in the MICA score (p = 0.016, Cohen's d = 0.31) after the intervention. However, there was no change in empathy and social distance, as measured by JSE (p = 0.23) and SDS (p = 0.31). A majority of the faculty and students were satisfied with the module and felt it should be part of the psychiatry curriculum. Conclusions: The SEA module was found to improve medical students’ knowledge and attitude towards mental illness and could be integrated as part of the psychiatry curriculum. However, it was ineffective in changing empathy and stigma in the students.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health