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Attitude and response of a rural population regarding person with mental illness

Journal: Open Journal of Psychiatry & Allied Sciences (Vol.4, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 42-48

Keywords : Knowledge. Authoritarianism. Mental health services.;

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Background: Research on attitudes towards the mentally ill is necessary to ensure quality of life for persons with mental illness in the community. Little is known about the knowledge and attitudes of rural community towards mental illness in India. Aim: To assess the attitudes of rural population towards persons with mental illness. Materials and methods: This was a cross sectional descriptive study carried out in a rural community. A consecutive (n=102) sample was recruited by house-to-house survey. Data was collected using Community Attitudes toward Mentally Ill scale. Data was analysed and interpreted by descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: Our findings revealed that participants held more stigmatising attitudes towards person with mental illness. It also revealed that community was more authoritarian (32.3 ±3.18) and socially restrictive views (31.9 ±3.25). However, they also held relatively more benevolent (29.1±3.51) and tolerant attitudes towards community (31.8 ±2.69) based mental health ideology. Conclusion: The findings of the present study revealed that negative attitudes towards persons with mental illness are widespread and may impair their social reintegration into the community. Hence, there is an urgent need to develop strategies to enlighten the public regarding nature of mental illness to foster acceptance of people with mental illness by the rural community.

Last modified: 2013-08-12 00:41:54