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Salud mental

Print version ISSN 0185-3325


FRESAN, Ana et al. Mental health literacy in bipolar disorder: Association with perception of aggressiveness and gender of medical students. Salud Ment [online]. 2013, vol.36, n.3, pp.229-234. ISSN 0185-3325.

Introduction Developing mental health literacy in students and health professionals in general implies gaining abilities in recognizing and treating mental illnesses. In bipolar disorder, this is an important issue due that it helps reducing stigma and the treatment gap found in patients with this diagnosis. Objective To determine the associations between some variables of mental health literacy (illness, recognition, attributable causes and suggested treatment) about bipolar disorder with gender and perception of aggressiveness/dangerousness in a group of medical students. Material and methods One-hundred and three medical students from a public university in Mexico City completed the Aggressiveness Public Concept Questionnaire to assess mental health literacy and aggressiveness/dangerous-ness perception. Results 59.6% of students did not recognize the presence of a mental illness. As described symptoms were not considered as a manifestation of a mental disorder, 83.7% considered non-psychiatric interventions as the most adequate alternative for the management of the behaviors exposed in the vignette. 87.7% considered that the person described in the vignette was aggressive and 33.7% perceived the subject as dangerous. Discussion Campaigns of mental health literacy for medical students must be directed to improve recognition of the essential features of bipolar disorder, therapeutic options as well as the real prevalence and methods of prevention of aggressiveness of these patients.

Keywords : Mental health literacy; bipolar disorder; stigma; aggressiveness; dangerousness; gender.

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