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Attitudes towards mental disorders and emotional empathy in mental health and other healthcare professionals

  • Georgina Gateshill (a1), Kate Kucharska-Pietura (a1) and John Wattis (a2)
Abstract
Aims and method

To compare attitudes towards mental disorders in professionals working in mental health and professionals working in different areas of medicine. Levels of emotional empathy in both groups were also investigated. In total, 58 mental healthcare professionals and 60 non-mental healthcare professionals completed our attitudes towards mental disorders questionnaire and Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale.

Results

The results reveal generally positive attitudes towards people with mental disorders in both groups. Non-mental healthcare professionals regarded people with a mental disorder as significantly more dangerous and unpredictable than did mental healthcare professionals. There was no statistically significant difference in emotional empathy between the two groups. Both groups cited illicit drug use as one of the most significant causes of mental disorder.

Clinical implications

Mental healthcare professionals and non-mental healthcare professionals show broadly similar attitudes and a similar degree of empathy towards people with a mental disorder. However, non-mental healthcare professionals regard people with mental health problems as significantly more dangerous and unpredictable. There is scope for further research including examining the effects of educational interventions.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Georgina Gateshill (g.gateshill@nhs.net)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
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Attitudes towards mental disorders and emotional empathy in mental health and other healthcare professionals

  • Georgina Gateshill (a1), Kate Kucharska-Pietura (a1) and John Wattis (a2)
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