Published: 2017-06-24

Attitude towards mental illness among doctors and nurses in a tertiary care centre, Pondicherry, India

V. Sujaritha, M. Partheeban, T. Thiviya, M. Sowmiya


Background: Stigma can prevent care and treatment of mentally ill. About 54% of diagnosable mental disorders are seen in primary care settings. There is a gross underestimation of psychiatric morbidity among patients by substantial proportion of non-psychiatric clinicians. Hence there is a need to assess the attitude towards mental illness among doctors and staff nurses. The objectives of the study were to assess the attitude towards mental illness among doctors and nurses, to compare the attitude between doctors and nurses, to find if there is any correlation between duration of training or posting and attitude, to find if educational status had any influence on attitude, to find if there is any gender influence on attitude. 

Methods: It is a cross sectional descriptive study conducted in a private medical college, Pondicherry among doctors and nurses who had completed their under graduation with a sample size of 221 (Doctors-120, Nurses-101). The instruments used were a semi-structured demographic profile and 34 items of OMICC (Opinion About Mental Illness in Chinese Community). The data was entered in Microsoft Excel 2013 analyzed using descriptive statistics, unpaired t-test, pearson’s correlation coefficient.

Results: Only 25% of doctors and 4.9% of nurses positive attitude when overall score was considered. Doctors group had higher positive attitudes compared to nurses in domains separatism, stereotyping, benevolence and stigmatisation.

Conclusions: There was no correlation between duration of psychiatry posting and attitude.


Attitude, Doctors, Mental illness, Nurses

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