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Revista Médica del Uruguay

Print version ISSN 0303-3295On-line version ISSN 1688-0390


BRESCIA, María Soledad et al. Mental illness and stigma: an intervention in medical students. Rev. Méd. Urug. [online]. 2021, vol.37, n.1, e203.  Epub Mar 01, 2021. ISSN 0303-3295.

Health professionals’ stigma towards mental illness creates serious barriers to access healthcare services by patients who suffer from them.

Therefore, the Psychiatric Clinique of the University of the Republic devised didactic strategies to apply during the time medical students complete this specialization, to raise awareness about stigma towards people with mental illness.

To that end, a study was designed with the objective of assessing the impact of this internship by means of questionnaires that had been prepared and applied by the students themselves at the beginning and at the end of the internship. It also aimed to revise and adapt the proposed strategies.

1.356 students were interviewed the beginning and 933 (68.8%) at the end of the internship, between 2013 and 2016. A decrease in stigmatizing attitudes was evidenced, as well as a greater understanding of mental illness and a contribution to the comprehensive training of general practitioners after covering the different specializations.

Statistic processing of data was done with Graph Pad Prism version 4.0 software. Descriptive statistics was used to analyse date and the Mann-Whytney non-parametric test was used to compare medians. Values below 0.05 were considered significant. The study concluded that both the contact between medical students and patients with mental illnesses and specific interventions on this issue constitute a useful strategy to reduce stigma.

Keywords : Social stigma; Mental illness; Medical students; Medical education.

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