This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ PrePrints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
Cite this article
Waqas A, Zubair M, Ghulam H, Wajih Ullah M, Zubair Tariq Majeed M. (2014) Stigma of mental illnesses in Pakistani university students: A cross sectional survey. PeerJ PrePrints2:e523v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.523v1
Background: The objectives of the study were to explore the knowledge and attitudes of Pakistani university students toward mental illnesses. People with mental illnesses are challenged not only by their symptoms but also by the prejudices associated with their illness. Acknowledging the stigma of mental illness should be the first essential step toward devising an appropriate treatment plan. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted at the University of Punjab, Lahore, CMH Lahore Medical and Dental College, Lahore, and University of Sargodha, Sub-campus Lahore, from February to May, 2014. The self-administered questionnaire consisted of three sections: demographics, general knowledge of psychiatric illnesses, and Community Attitudes towards Mental Illnesses (CAMI) Scale. The questionnaire was distributed to 650 participants enrolled in different disciplines (Social Sciences, Medicine and Formal Sciences). Results: Response rate was 81% (527/650 respondents). Mean age was 20.98 years. Most of the students (331, 62.8%) had an urban background and studied Social Sciences (238, 45.2%). 418 (79.3%) considered religion very important and most respondents considered psychiatrists (334, 63.4%) and spiritual leaders (72, 13.7%) to be best able to treat mental illnesses. 169 (32.1%) considered black magic to be a cause of mental illness. Only 215 (41%) had ever read an article on mental illnesses. Multiple regression analysis revealed study discipline, exposure, perceived causes of mental illnesses and superstitions to be significantly associated with attitudes towards mental illnesses (p < .05). Conclusion: Although low awareness and exposure were found in this sample of Pakistani university students, their attitude towards mental illnesses was generally positive. Most respondents gave supernatural explanations for mental illnesses but only a few believed that spiritual leaders can play a role in treatment.
"Following" is like subscribing to any updates related to a preprint.
These updates will appear in your home dashboard each time you visit PeerJ.
You can also choose to receive updates via daily or weekly email digests.
If you are following multiple preprints then we will send you
no more than one email per day or week based on your preferences.
Note: You are now also subscribed to the subject areas of this preprint
and will receive updates in the daily or weekly email digests if turned on.
You can add specific subject areas through your profile settings.