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World Journal of Pharmaceutical
and Medical Research

( An ISO 9001:2015 Certified International Journal )

An International Peer Reviewed Journal for Pharmaceutical and Medical Research and Technology
An Official Publication of Society for Advance Healthcare Research (Reg. No. : 01/01/01/31674/16)
ISSN 2455-3301
IMPACT FACTOR: 5.922

ICV : 78.6

Abstract

A COMPARATIVE STUDY: PERCEPTIONS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS MENTAL ILLNESS AMONG FINAL YEAR MEDICAL STUDENTS AND FINAL YEAR NON-MEDICAL STUDENTS

Edith Gyamfua Kissi and Peter Appiah-Thompson*

ABSTRACT

In Ghana, mental health issues are not granted as much priority as physical conditions. To some extent, they have been largely side-lined or ignored and this is largely due to misconceptions and inadequate knowledge about the subject. Series of studies show that the perceptions of individuals influence their health seeking behaviours. The purpose of this study was to assess and compare perceptions and attitudes towards mental illness among final year medical students and final year non-medical students at the University of Cape Coast and to evaluate how these perceptions would influence their health seeking behaviours. A comparative cross-sectional study was carried out among students studying medicine and humanities at the University of Cape Coast. Purposive sampling was used to sample 261 students, 65 sixth year students in the medical field and 196 non-medical students in their final year of college education. The study showed that students generally showed positive attitudes and were less discriminatory towards mentally ill persons. Also, majority of students were willing to seek help when faced with mental health issues. In comparing medical students to students in other fields, the study revealed statistically significant differences (p<0.05) in perceptions, attitudes and health seeking behaviours between medical and non-medical students. In conclusion, medical students had more knowledge and experience with mental illness hence they showed more positive attitudes towards mental illness.

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