To study the attitudes and opinions of doctors and medical students with regard to psychiatric illness a questionnaire was sent to all medical students (832) and all doctors of all grades (441) at a London teaching hospital.
A total of 520 questionnaires were returned. More than 50% felt that people with schizophrenia and drug and alcohol addiction were dangerous and unpredictable. It was felt by the majority that people were not to blame for their conditions and there were low negative responses towards lack of treatability for a majority of conditions.
There were more optimistic views with regard to treatment than the general population. There appeared to be a lessening in stigma as experience increased. This would suggest that early improved education and exposure in the future may lead to a greater decline in stigmatised attitudes.
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