Objective: The study examined psychiatric residents' attitudes toward, knowledge about, and training in the care of patients with chronic mental illness. Methods: The authors constructed a 41-item Residents' Attitude Toward the Chronically Mentally Ill Scale to obtain a systematic assessment of attitudes. The scale's validity was enhanced by input from 12 psychiatrists who were knowledgeable about work with and attitudes toward such patients, and a test showed the scale to have high reliability. The scale was administered to 85 psychiatric residents, along with questionnaires focused on training and knowledge and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale assessing defensiveness and self-deception. Results: No correlation was found between residents' attitudes and years of residency training or between attitudes and knowledge about patients with chronic mental illness. Residents reported many negative attitudes toward this patient population. However, significant positive correlations were found between the residents' attitudes and their training in settings where patients were considered to receive high-quality care and supervisors were good role models. Conclusions: Constructive training experiences during residency can have a positive influence on residents' attitudes toward patients with chronic mental illness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health