Ariana Reli is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist with a certificate of additional qualifications in Addiction Psychiatry. She is a dedicated community psychiatrist with extensive experience in public and private inpatient and outpatient settings, and an experienced Psychiatric Administrator who continues active clinical practice with seriously mentally ill and dually diagnosed patients. She also consults on topics in general administrative psychiatry, including quality improvement, treatment planning, and physician management, and in clinical psychiatry, including recovery-oriented treatment for individuals with serious mental illness; training clinicians in attitudes, values, knowledge, and skills for treating individuals with serious mental illness; and family/consumer/provider collaboration.
Statement of the Problem: On March 15, 2008, a series of massive and deadly explosions ripped through an Albanian government munitions depot in the village of Gërdec near Tirana, resulting in 24 deaths, injuries to over 300 more people, and catastrophic damage to hundreds of homes and other civilian structures within a 2.5 kilometer radius. Thousands of artillery shells, most of them un-exploded, littered the area. The blast shattered all the windows of the terminal building at the country\'s only international airport, and all flights were suspended for some 40 minutes. Some 4,000 inhabitants of the zone were evacuated and offered shelter in state-owned resorts. The Government declared the zone a disaster area. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among the survivors in the population of Gërdec village. \r\nMethodology & Theoretical Orientation: A cross-sectional study with the following collected data was conducted: (1) Demographics: sex; mean age; age range; mean time since injury; The DSM-5 criteria for PTSD were adopted, the PTSD checklist–civilian version was used to aid in the diagnosis and a higher cut-off score was implemented to minimize false positives; and (2) PTSD-related variables. \r\nFindings: The prevalence of PTSD was 61 (37.4%). The rate of PTSD was higher among females (47.8%) than males, (29.8%) (p<0.01). The most common symptomatic responses that persisted in the long run were: (1) feeling very upset when something reminded of the stressful experience (51.5%); (2) loss of interest in things that were previously enjoyable (43.6%); and (3) feeling distant or cut-off from other people (33.1%). \r\nConclusion & Significance: The present paper is an attempt to stress the importance of psychological aspects of these incidents. More research is needed to study the interaction between trauma exposure, pre-existing psychological and biological vulnerabilities, and the post-trauma environment.
Samar M.A. Attaelfadeel is a sixth year medical student at the University of Khartoum. She achieved first place in the Khartoum State Primary Certificate Examination in 2009 and third place in the Sudan Secondary Certificate Examination in 2012. She is considered by the faculty as one of the top ten students in the batch. This is the first research she conducted and published. She is interested in researches about stigma of mental diseases and some physical illnesses.
Statement of the Problem: Studies found that there is stigma of mental illness among doctors and medical students. This will affect the care and treatment provided by doctors for their patients. The rate of undergraduates pursuing psychiatry as post-graduates has been declining in the course of recent years leading to a decrease in the number of therapists. This creates a treatment gap, especially in developing countries. The purpose of this study is to assess medical students’ attitude towards mental illness before and after the psychiatry course, and to determine the percentage of students who would like to become psychiatrists before and after the course.
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: An analytical cross-sectional, institutional-based study was conducted. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to fourth year medical students at the University of Khartoum before and after the psychiatry course. MICA-2 scale was used to assess attitude towards mental illness. Statistical analysis was done using Google Form and SPSS including Independent t-test, Chi-square and analysis of variance test.
Findings: 298 students participated (83%) before and 217 students participated both before and after (60.61%). The results showed that there was a significant change in MICA-2 score mean with P value 0.002. The percentage of students interested in psychiatry as a career did not change significantly. Less than 30% considered psychiatry seriously as their future career both before and after the course.
Conclusion and Significance: Stigma of mental illness can be reduced and attitude can be improved through medical education. Attitude towards mental illness improved after the psychiatry course but the interest in psychiatry as a future career did not change. Recommendations are to do further research to be a guide for psychiatrists in order to improve the gain from the psychiatry courses in changing students’ attitude, and to increase recruitment to psychiatry.