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Changes in Attitudes of Japanese Pharmacy Students towards Mental Illness during the didactic portion of the Curriculum

Sayuri Ono, Manako Hanya, Hiroshi Tanaka, Marshall E Cates, Hiroyuki Kamei

Abstract

Background: Studies have demonstrated that significant stigma is attached to mental illness in Japan, but attitudes of pharmacy students have received very little study.

Aims: To examine the changes in the attitudes of pharmacy students during years 1-3 of their pharmaceutical education.

Methods: Pharmacy students were followed during years 1-3 of their pharmaceutical studies and completed the same questionnaire each academic year.

Results: The questionnaire was completed by 245, 215, and 174 students in the first, second, and third years, respectively (response rate: 100%). The mean total score for the Index of Attitudes Toward the Mentally Ill increased significantly from the first to third year, while that for the Whatley Social Distance Scale did not change.

Conclusion: The pharmacy students’ stigmatization of mentally ill individuals improved from the first to third year, but their social distance did not. Pharmacy educators should explore ways of reducing this gap. 


Keywords

Attitude, Japan, Mentally Ill Individuals, Pharmacy Students, Social Distance


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