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Attitudes of postgraduate resident doctors toward psychiatry

MA Wakil
FK Salawu
JO Abdulmalik
A Ahidjo
O Beida


Background: A significant proportion of patients presenting to general practitioners and non-psychiatric specialists have been shown to suffer from underlying or co-morbid psychiatric conditions. The detection rate and appropriate treatment or referral of such psychiatric conditions varies widely depending on the attitude, expertise and level of familiarity of the physician with psychiatry. A negative attitude towards psychiatry often precludes efforts to understand and manage such disorders thus worsening the hidden burden of mental illness.

Objectives: To evaluate the attitudes of postgraduate resident doctors toward psychiatry.

Method: A cross-sectional survey on a convenience sample of 100 postgraduate resident doctors from the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital was conducted using a modified version of the self-rated Kumar 12-item questionnaire and a brief socio-demographic questionnaire.

Results: The subjects comprised of 74.3% males and 25.7% females, with age ranges of 25-45 years and mean of 32.6+ 4.1. The majority (95.7%) opined that psychiatry was a valid and important specialty, while 80% of the respondents had encountered psychiatric cases in their respective specialties. Furthermore, 91.8% of the respondents appreciated that psychosocial factors may influence the presentation, course and outcome of physical illnesses.

Conclusion: Postgraduate resident doctors in Maiduguri displayed a high level of awareness about psychiatry and its relevance. This positive approach needs to be built upon via the strengthening of reciprocal consultation-liaison services, in order to enhance holistic care for patients.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2437-1734
print ISSN: 0189-9422