The aim of this study was to explore the attitude of a sample of Egyptian community pharmacists and their assistants toward mentally ill patients.Participants and methods
One hundred and fifty-seven community pharmacists and 104 of their assistants recruited from eight administrative centers of Menoufia Governorate, in addition to 127 lay persons, completed demographic sheet, the Community Attitude towards the Mentally Ill (CAMI) scale, and the Beliefs about Mental Illness scale.Results
The response of the whole population sample to the four CAMI subscales revealed a generally positive view of the mentally ill patients. In comparison with lay persons, pharmacists’ responses to CAMI subscales were similar except for less authoritarianism. Moreover, pharmacists showed slightly more positive attitude in response to the Beliefs about Mental Illness scale. Pharmacists’ assistants’ responses to both the CAMI scale and the Beliefs about Mental Illness scale showed the most stigmatizing attitude among the three groups of the study population. Both pharmacists and their assistants did not believe much in the efficacy of psychotropic drugs in the treatment of mentally ill patients.Conclusion
Pharmacists showed shortage of knowledge about the nature of mental illness and the efficacy of psychotropic medications. The same was evident for pharmacists’ assistants who held inadequate and erroneous information about mental illness and the mentally ill patients.