Knowledge and attitudes regarding mental illness among nonpsychiatric physicians working in public hospitals in the Eastern province of Rwanda
INTRODUCTION: The occurrence of mental illness has been common throughout the world and the care for mental health disorders has been a growing public health concern. Unfortunately, the treatment gap is huge between high-income countries (HICs) and low-income countries (LICs) and is particularly inadequate among non-specialist mental health professionals. The aim was to assess the existing knowledge and attitudes regarding mental illness among medical doctors working in public hospitals
METHODS: A quantitative cross-sectional study was conducted in public hospitals in the Eastern Province of Rwanda. The study enrolled medical doctors working as clinicians. A self-completed questionnaire was used to assess their knowledge and attitudes regarding mental illness.
RESULTS: Most of the participants reported having sufficient knowledge 81.90 %) and a positive attitude (87.40%). The study also found a strong correlation between knowledge and attitudes (P= 0.000). Age and specialist years of experience have been found to have the most significant correlation with attitude (P = 0.048), (P= 0.023) as well as with knowledge level since respective P-values are (P = 0.006) and (P = 0.003).
CONCLUSION: Globally, physicians assessed reported to have enough knowledge and positive attitudes regarding mental illness. However, further studies targeting non-medical health professionals are still needed to identify the broader picture of mental health literacy.
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