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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40-47

Knowledge and attitudes toward schizophrenia among high school adolescents

1 Department of Psychiatry, Index Medical College, Indore, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, People's College of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ganpat K Vankar
Department of Psychiatry, People's College of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Bhanpur, Bhopal - 462 037, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_50_19

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Context: Poor awareness about schizophrenia and stigma toward people with schizophrenia is an important factor impacting early detection, support, and treatment. Aims: This study aims to assess the knowledge and attitude of adolescents in 9th to 12th classes in high schools toward people with schizophrenia. Settings and Design: The descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted in 4 schools as part of a schizophrenia awareness program. Subjects and Methods: This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study to assess the knowledge and attitude of high school children toward schizophrenia. A self-report questionnaire was administered with sections containing case vignette-based knowledge and attitude toward schizophrenia. Statistical Analysis Used: Chi-square and “t”-test were done to find the association between demographic characteristics, knowledge level, and attitude. Results: Of 1540 students, about half of all respondents had average knowledge and only 10.5% students had a good knowledge score. Although knowledge level of boys and girls was similar, boys had more positive attitude toward people with schizophrenia as compared to girls. Good knowledge was associated with less distancing with person with schizophrenia. About 45% adolescents believed that people with schizophrenia are more prone to violence. Counseling and psychotherapy were endorsed as helpful compared to antipsychotic drugs and electroconvulsive therapy. Traditional healers were perceived as harmful. The adolescents were more ready to befriend the patient, meet him, and have him in the neighborhood but less ready to work with him or to get him married in the family in the future. Conclusions: There are important knowledge gaps in adolescents. Educational interventions should aim at correcting myths and especially emphasized effective treatment methods.

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