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Intensity of previous teaching but not diagnostic skills influences stigmatization of patients with substance use disorder by general practice residents. A vignette study among French final-year residents in general practice

Intensity of previous teaching but not diagnostic skills influences stigmatization of patients with substance use disorder by general practice residents. A vignette study among French final-year residents in general practice

European Journal of General Practice 24(1): 160-166

High levels of stigma towards patients with substance use disorder (SUD) have been found in health professionals and medical students. To assess the capability of residents in general practice to diagnose SUD correctly; to assess their stigmatization of patients with SUD and to assess the correlation between both variables. We hypothesized a negative correlation. In 2014, we conducted a cross-sectional survey among French residents in general practice, using a self-administered questionnaire. First, a clinical case of SUD (tramadol) was presented, to assess the diagnosis and retained diagnostic criteria. A second clinical vignette was presented (intravenous heroin user) to assess stigmatization with the Attitudes to Mental Illness Questionnaire (AMIQ). Its score ranges from -10 (negative attitude) to +10 (positive attitude). AMIQ scores of residents who diagnosed SUD correctly versus incorrectly, and who had received at least six hours versus less than six hours of teaching on this topic, were compared using Student's t-test. Of 1284 solicited residents, 303 participated (23.6%), 249 residents diagnosed SUD correctly (82.2%). The mean AMIQ score was -3.91 (SD 2.4) without significant difference regarding the correct diagnosis of SUD; but with a significant difference between residents who had received training in SUD for at least six hours versus residents less trained (AMIQ scores -3.76 (SD 2.46) versus -4.50 (SD 2.27), p = .0354). Residents in general practice had a good capacity to diagnose SUD correctly but on average expressed negative attitudes toward people with SUD. More SUD teaching seems to help in reducing stigmatizing attitudes.

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Accession: 065247563

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PMID: 29792534

DOI: 10.1080/13814788.2018.1470239

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