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Article   |    
Psychiatric Residents' Attitudes Toward Patients With Chronic Mental Illness
Samuel Packer; Peter Prendergast; Don Wasylenki; Brenda Toner; Alisha Ali
Psychiatric Services 1994; doi:
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Department of Psychiatry, Wellesley Hospital, 160 Wellesley Street East, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y 1J3; University of Toronto

Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto; University of Toronto

1994 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Objective: The study examined psychiatric residents' attitudes toward; knowledge about, andtraining 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 inputfrom 12 psychiatrists who were knowledgeable about work with and attitudes toward such patients, and a test showed the scale to have high reliabiity. 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 corelation 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 towardpatients with chronic mental illness.

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