Advising adolescents on the use of psychotropic medication: attitudes among medical and psychology students
aspects of personality
attitudes towards advising adolescents
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology :: Sociology & social sciences [H10]
Sciences sociales & comportementales, psychologie :: Sociologie & sciences sociales [H10]
Human health sciences :: Public health, health care sciences & services [D22]
Sciences de la santé humaine :: Santé publique, services médicaux & soins de santé [D22]
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AbstractThere is evidence that medical students are more aware of the benefits of psychotropic treatment than are members of the general public, and that the more knowledge students acquire about psychiatry and pharmacology, the more favorable their attitudes become towards psychotropic drugs and other treatments. Objectives: This study among students investigates the relationship between certain aspects of personality and attitudes towards advising adolescents with psychosocial problems about the use of psychotropic medication. Methods: Two groups of healthcare students were recruited from universities in Eastern France. 41 fourth-year medical students (MS) who had completed their psychiatry course, and 76 thirdyear psychology students (PS) in the faculty of human sciences. Respondents completed a selfadministered instrument (20 brief case studies, and a personality inventory) at the end of a lecture. Participation was voluntary and unpaid. Results: MS would recommend psychotropic drugs in 40% of the 20 cases, PS in 27%. MS who would prescribe psychotropic medication differed in personality profile from PS. MS with a tendency to experience anger and related states such as frustration, and who did not see fulfilling moral obligations as important were more likely to prescribe psychotropic drugs. Also more likely to recommend psychotropic drugs, but for different reasons, were PS who were susceptible to stress but not shy or socially anxious, who showed friendliness but little interest in others, and who lacked distance in their decision-making. Conclusion: Health promotion is not simply a matter of educating those young people who take psychotropic drugs – health professionals must also question the criteria that inform their decisions. It is as important to investigate the attitudes of the future health professionals (advisers or prescribers) as it is to focus on consumer-related issues.
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