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


  • Sayuri Ono Meijo University
  • Manako Hanya Meijo University
  • Hiroshi Tanaka Meijo University
  • Marshall E Cates Samford University, Alabama
  • Hiroyuki Kamei Meijo University


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


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. 

Author Biographies

Sayuri Ono, Meijo University

Office of Clinical Pharmacy Practice and Health Care Management, Faculty of Pharmacy

Manako Hanya, Meijo University

Office of Clinical Pharmacy Practice and Health Care Management, Faculty of Pharmacy

Hiroshi Tanaka, Meijo University

Office of Clinical Pharmacy Practice and Health Care Management, Faculty of Pharmacy

Marshall E Cates, Samford University, Alabama

McWhorter School of Pharmacy

Hiroyuki Kamei, Meijo University

Office of Clinical Pharmacy Practice and Health Care Management, Faculty of Pharmacy


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Research Article