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Attitudes of Health Professionals towards Mental Disorders: Studies in Turkey during the Last Decade

Burcu Arkan, Kerime Bademli, Zekiye Çetinkaya Duman.

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People with mental disorders often manifest their extraordinary characters through their speech and behavior, which in turn creates reactionary attitudes in society. In the same manner, health professionals, as members of the society, can express negative attitudes towards psychiatry patients. Since they provide health services and serve as “consultants” and “role models” for the well-being of people, their discriminating and stigmatizing attitudes may also preclude the involvement of these patients in medical care. Therefore, attitude researches today primarily focus on to analyze the attitudes of health professionals. While a majority of the studies include psychiatrists, general practitioners, specialists and medical students, only a limited number of studies refer to staff nurses and nursing students. The review of literature in this study, therefore, was limited with the researches carried out in the last decade. The aim of this study was to analyze the attitude researches focused on the attitudes of health professionals, especially those of nursing and nursing students in Turkey, and to clarify the similarities and differences with relevant studies. The results of the review illustrated that the attitudes of health professionals towards psychiatry patients and psychiatric disorders have not changed for the last ten years and remained fundamentally discriminating and refusing. The medical curricula in Turkey should be redesigned so as to raise awareness in the course contents of medicine and nursing schools against the negative attitudes during both undergraduate and postgraduate education. Moreover, a more inclusive review of the factors that may have influenced the attitudes towards mental illnesses should be carried out and specially designed education and research programs should be implemented.

Key words: stigmatization, social stigma, attitude, perspective, discrimination, health professionals

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American Journal of Diagnostic Imaging


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