Attitudes toward Psychiatry: A Survey of Medical Students at the University of Nairobi, Kenya
Ndetei David M.
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Objectives: The authors aim to determine the attitudes of University of Nairobi, Kenya, medical students toward psychiatry. Methods: The study design was cross-sectional. Self-administered sociodemographic and the Attitudes Toward Psychiatry-30 items (ATP-30) questionnaires were distributed sequentially to every third medical student in his or her lecture theater before or immediately after the lectures. Analysis was done using SPSS version 11.5 and the results are presented in tables. Results: Nearly 75% of the students had overall favorable attitudes toward psychiatry but only 14.3% considered psychiatry as a potential career choice. Sixty-six percent reported that they would not choose psychiatry as a career while the remaining 19.7% were not decided. Conclusions: There is dissonance between positive attitudes toward psychiatry and the choice of psychiatry as a potential career. Therefore, there is a need to bridge the gap by addressing the various factors that potentially account for this dissonance.