Attitude of nonpsychiatric medical staff toward patients with schizophrenia in Sohag University

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BackgroundPatients with schizophrenia and their families have suffered greatly from the negative social attitude toward their illness, which results in social discrimination. Moreover, this social discrimination leads to many drawbacks in patient’s life, such as problems in person relationship, education, and work.ObjectiveThe study aims to explore the view of nonpsychiatric medical staff and medical students toward patients with schizophrenia to establish better service and quality of life toward patients with schizophrenia in Sohag University.Patients and methodsIt is a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted in the Faculty of Medicine and its related Hospital of Sohag University. A total sample of 160 nonpsychiatric medical staff from resident to professor and 96 sixth-year medical students were enrolled in the study and asked to complete the antistigma questionnaire. The antistigma questionnaire was calibrated and structured with 25 questions divided into three thematic parts; the questions were assorted differently, and for each question, one of the three offered answers should have been chosen (yes, no, or I do not know). The questionnaire was self-administered.ResultsThe study showed that all groups lacked knowledge toward schizophrenia, with very high statistically significant difference among the four groups (P<0.004). Residents and lecturers represented the ones with the poorest knowledge followed by students and then professors. This results in stigmatizing attitude toward patients with schizophrenia and toward their treatment, future rehabilitation, and resocialization, with statistically significant difference (P<0.019 and <0.051, respectively). Overall, 42.2% of the female participants had good knowledge compared with 33.9% of the males, and the difference is significant (P<0.024). However, there is no significant difference between males and females in their stigmatizing attitude.ConclusionInsufficient knowledge leads to stigmatizing attitudes among nonpsychiatric medical staff, which could lead to decreased quality of life and seeking medical advice among patients with schizophrenia.

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