Monthly Archives: August 2013

Effect of diagnostic labeling and causal explanations on medical students’ views about treatments for psychosis and the need to share information with service users

New study by Lorenza Magliano, John Read et al, in Psychiatry Research, (in press, 2013)

This study examines whether medical students’ views of treatments for ‘schizophrenia’ and of patients’ rights to be informed about their condition and their medication were influenced by diagnostic labeling and causal explanations and whether they differed over medical training.

Three hundred and eighty one Italian students attending their first or fifth/sixth year of medical studies read a vignette portraying someone who met diagnostic criteria for ‘schizophrenia’ and completed a self-report questionnaire.

The study found that labeling the case as ‘schizophrenia’ and naming heredity among its causes were associated with confidence in psychiatrists and psychiatric drugs. Naming psychological traumas among the causes was associated with confidence in psychologists and greater acknowledgment of users’ right to be informed about drugs.

Compared to first year students, those at their fifth/sixth-year of studies more strongly endorsed drugs, had less confidence in psychologists and family support, and were less keen to share information on drugs with patients.

These findings highlight that students’ beliefs vary during training and are significantly related to diagnostic labeling and belief in a biogenetic causal model.

Psychiatric curricula for medical students should include greater integration of psychological and medical aspects in clinical management of ‘schizophrenia’; more information on the psychosocial causes of mental health problems.

The voices others cannot hear – Vol. 26, Part 8 ( August 2013)

Simon McCarthy-Jones and Eleanor Longden look at what they mean and, for people who want support, what is to be done.

Read it on line or down load as an audio file to play from your computer, phone or MP3 player: The voices others cannot hear – Vol. 26, Part 8 ( August 2013), in The Psychologist, journal of the British Psychological Society.