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Comparative survey of beliefs about mental illness among pharmacy and non-pharmacy students of a Nigerian university

Chibueze Anosike (Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Management, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)
Nneka Uchenna Igboeli (Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Management, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)
Chinwe Victoria Ukwe (Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Management, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)
Chinyere Victoria Okani (Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Management, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)

Mental Health and Social Inclusion

ISSN: 2042-8308

Article publication date: 15 July 2019

Issue publication date: 19 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to assess and compare beliefs about mental illness among pharmacy and non-pharmacy students and to explore its associated factors.

Design/methodology/approach

This research was a cross-sectional survey conducted among undergraduate pharmacy and non-pharmacy students of a Nigerian university. The selected participants completed the Belief toward Mental Illness questionnaires after usual class lectures. Descriptive statistics, χ2 test, and t-test were used for data analysis. The level of significance was set at p<0.05.

Findings

Overall, pharmacy and non-pharmacy undergraduate students demonstrated negative beliefs about mental illness. There were no substantial differences in beliefs about mental illness among both groups of students. Students’ class, age, visit to a mental hospital and personal experience of mental disorder were significantly associated with beliefs about mental illness.

Research limitations/implications

The generalization of the study findings to other schools of pharmacy in Nigeria is uncertain because this study used convenience sampling technique and was conducted in a single public university. However, the study provides relevant educational opportunities to guide policy makers and university administrators on mental health literacy. Therefore, educational interventions addressing observed gaps in students’ opinions regarding mental illness are recommended.

Originality/value

There appears to be little or no data on the beliefs of undergraduate pharmacy trainees about mental disorders in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors sincerely appreciate the important role of Mr Otuu Kenneth and his team during the process of data collection. The authors also thank all the students who voluntarily participated in the study at no cost.

Citation

Anosike, C., Igboeli, N.U., Ukwe, C.V. and Okani, C.V. (2019), "Comparative survey of beliefs about mental illness among pharmacy and non-pharmacy students of a Nigerian university", Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 112-120. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHSI-02-2019-0007

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited