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Cross-sectional survey of mental health literacy among undergraduate students of the University of Nigeria

Aluh, Deborah Oyine ; Okonta, Matthew Jegbefume ; Odili, Valentine Uche

BMJ open, 2019-09, Vol.9 (9), p.e028913-e028913 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Cross-sectional survey of mental health literacy among undergraduate students of the University of Nigeria
  • Author: Aluh, Deborah Oyine ; Okonta, Matthew Jegbefume ; Odili, Valentine Uche
  • Subjects: Low income groups ; Health literacy ; High income ; Costs ; Mental disorders ; University students ; Stigma ; Schizophrenia ; Attitudes ; Health education ; Polls & surveys ; Psychosis ; Mental health care ; Secondary school students ; Questionnaires ; Response rates ; Hallucinations ; College students ; Psychiatry ; Index Medicus
  • Is Part Of: BMJ open, 2019-09, Vol.9 (9), p.e028913-e028913
  • Description: ObjectiveThis study sought to assess knowledge of schizophrenia and help-seeking behaviour among undergraduate students of a Nigerian university. Sociodemographic predictors of correct recognition were also explored.DesignThe study was a cross-sectional descriptive survey.SettingThe study was carried out at the University of Nigeria, a pioneer university located in Southeastern Nigeria.ParticipantsUndergraduate students of the University of Nigeria.MethodsAll consenting male and female students of three purposively selected faculties were recruited for the study. Self-administered vignette-based questionnaires were distributed to students of the selected faculties between September and November 2018. Data were analysed using the IBM Statistical Product and Services Solution for Windows V.21.0.ResultsOut of the 400 questionnaires that were distributed, 389 were completed and returned (97.3% response rate). Respondents were mainly female (64.9%, n=252) and were between the ages of 18 and 24 years (75.8%, n=294). One in eight respondents (12.1%, n=47) correctly identified and labelled the schizophrenia vignette. Hallucination was the most identified symptom of distress for schizophrenia (47.9%, n=186). The most common alternative label for schizophrenia was ‘mental illness’ (24.7%, n=96). Schizophrenia was also mislabelled as depression (11.6%, n=45). More than a 10th of the respondents used stigmatising labels such as ‘crazy’ and ‘mad’ (11.1%, n=43). Psychiatrists were the most recommended source of help for the vignette character (36.3%, n=141). There was a strong association between the faculty of study and the ability to correctly identify and label the schizophrenia vignette (χ2=44.557, p<0.001).ConclusionMental health literacy among students of the University of Nigeria was poor. Research on culturally sensitive interventions to improve mental health literacy should be embarked on.
  • Publisher: England: BMJ Publishing Group LTD
  • Language: English
  • Identifier: ISSN: 2044-6055
    EISSN: 2044-6055
    DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-028913
    PMID: 31515420
  • Source: © ProQuest LLC All rights reserved

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