Change in attitude towards suicide with current undergraduate training in psychiatry: a cross-sectional study
Keywords:undergraduate, medical student, curriculum, attitude, suicide
Background: Teachers in the field of psychiatry has the responsibility to impart changes in students' attitude towards important areas of the subject. Suicide is the psychiatric emergency that a primary care practitioner is most likely to encounter in day to day practice. In this cross-sectional study, we looked into the change in the attitude of an undergraduate student towards suicide with his/her training in psychiatry with the present undergraduate curriculum. Materials and Methods: We recruited undergraduate medical students doing their MBBS course from a medical college of South India. Their responses to Eskin's Attitudes towards Suicide Scale (E-ATSS) and Eskin's Social Reactions to Suicidal Persons Scale (E-SRSPS) were collected. The students were divided into groups of students completed undergraduate training in Psychiatry and those who are yet to get exposed to it. Responses in E-ATSS and E-SRSPS from both groups were compared. Results: The overall attitude of students towards suicide and suicidal person were favourable compared to many previous studies. There was a significant difference in the factor ' suicide as a sign of mental illness' when responses from both groups were compared. 2.72±1.11 in the exposed group compared to 3.16±1.11 of unexposed group. p-value<0.001). Also, there was a significant difference in responses to the disapproval of suicidal disclosure. 2.83±0.65 in the exposed group and 2.67±0.67 in the unexposed group. (p-value - 0.01). Conclusion: The current undergraduate medical curriculum by Medical Council of India is successful in bringing attitude change in some important domains of the subject of suicide. Domains remain under-covered by the curriculum should be looked into in the future curriculum revisions.
undergraduate curriculum for the Indian medical graduate- 2018
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