Health Care Students’ Attitudes towards People with Schizophrenia—A Survey of Eight University Training Programs


Background: Discrimination and stigmatization of people with mental illness are a global and complex phenomenon and there is evidence that negative attitudes and discrimination are also prevalent among health care staff and health care students. Methods: Attitudes towards people with schizophrenia among 1101 students in eight different university programs providing training for work in the health care and social sectors were explored, using a cross-sectional design. Results: In five of the eight training programs the majority of the students’ perceived people with schizophrenia as a danger to others. In several aspects police students were found to hold more negative attitudes than students from other programs. Students with previous experiences of work in mental health services and students knowing a person with schizophrenia showed more positive attitudes. Discussion: In order to decrease negative attitudes and prejudices towards people with schizophrenia among students, it is essential that the training includes personal contact with people with experience of being mental illness.

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Svensson, B. , Brunt, D. , Bejerholm, U. , Eklund, M. , Gyllensten, A. , Leufstadius, C. , Markström, U. , Sandlund, M. , Östman, M. and Hansson, L. (2014) Health Care Students’ Attitudes towards People with Schizophrenia—A Survey of Eight University Training Programs. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 4, 309-316. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2014.44038.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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