General practitioners pre- and post-training psychiatric knowledge and attitude towards psychiatry
Objectives: General practitioners (GPs) often lack sufficient knowledge of psychiatric diagnoses and have unfavorable attitudes towards mental illness. The first aim of this intervention study is to assess the pre-and post-psychiatric training knowledge and attitudes of GPs. The second aim is to explore certain factors, which predict gain in knowledge and changes in attitude. Methods: This study was executed at Buraidah Mental Health Hospital in the year 2003. The research design consisted of a pre- and post-test comparison of GPs responses. The instruments were a Knowledge Test and an Attitude Questionnaire. Results: The psychiatric training had a discernible impact on GPs' knowledge. Though most of their pre-training attitudes were well-known either as positive or negative, certain attitudes were significantly changed post-intervention. Gain in knowledge was significantly predicted by the type of psychiatric help offered by the GPs. Gender and duration of GPs' practice significantly predicted the attitudinal changes. Conclusion: Psychiatric training courses significantly enhance GPs' knowledge together with significant changes in certain attitudes that have vast psychiatric implications including destigmatization, early diagnosis and better treatment of primary care patients with mental disorders.