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An exploratory findings of pharmacy students�?? beliefs about the patients of Schizophrenia in Pakistan

Schizophrenia affects approximately 24 million people worldwide with more than 50 % of them do not receive proper care and 90% of them live in developing countries, Pakistan is one of them. Schizophrenia appropriate prevalence in Pakistan is not known, which prevents the production of national strategies to combat this disabling and debilitating disease. Given consideration to the global prevalence and the project “Assessment of Health Status &Trends in Pakistan”, the estimated prevalence schizophrenia in Pakistan can be 1-2% in the general population. The present study was conducted to evaluate pharmacy students’ attitude, social distance and stigmatization of people with schizophrenia. A questionnaire was distributed to final year pharmacy students in different universities of Karachi, Pakistan. Descriptive statistics were used to demonstrate students’ demographic information and their response to the questionnaire. Pearson chi-square test was used to evaluate the corelation between independent variables with their response. Around 94% knew that schizophrenia is a chronic mental health condition characterized by a distortion of perceptions and thinking and about 87% opined that it’s not a contagious disease. More than 77% believed that there are environmental causes of schizophrenia whereas 52.44% thought that it is genetically inherited. More than 80% negated that they would be embarrassed to tell others if someone in their family was diagnosed with schizophrenia. In general receptiveness for the majority of the questions was in affirmative. The findings of the study revealed that pharmacy students show positive attitude towards the patients of schizophrenia. It will help them in their future practice to improve communication with mental illness patient and provide effective health care.

Author(s): Sadia Shakeel

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