Change in Medical Student Attitudes Toward Patients with Substance Use Disorders After Course Exposure
- 166 Downloads
Negative physician attitudes toward patients with substance use disorders (SUD) pose a significant barrier to treatment. This study tests the overall and intra-individual change in attitudes of second year medical students after exposure to a 15 hour SUD course.
Two cohorts of second year medical students (2014 and 2015) responded to an anonymous 13-item previously published survey exploring personal views regarding patients with SUD using a four-point Likert scale. Students were surveyed one day before and up to one month after course completion. Survey items were grouped into the following categories: treatment optimism/confidence in intervention, moralism, and stereotyping. The Wilcoxon nonparametric signed-rank test (α=0.05) was used to compare the pre- and post- survey responses.
In 2014 and 2015 respectively, 118 and 120 students participated in the SUD course with pre- and post-response rates of 89.0% and 75.4% in 2014 and 95.8% and 97.5% in 2015. Of the 13 survey questions, paired responses to eight questions showed a statistically significant positive change in attitudes with a medium (d = 0.5) to large effect size (d = 0.8). Items focused on treatment optimism and confidence in treatment intervention reflected a positive attitude change, as did items associated with stereotyping and moralism.
These results support the hypothesis that exposure to a course on SUD was associated with positive change in medical students’ attitudes toward patients with SUD.
KeywordsSubstance-related disorders Attitude of health personnel Medical education
Compliance with Ethical Standards
JHM IRB determined this research exempt under the DHHS regulations.
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
- 1.SAMHSA. Mental and Substance Use Disorders 2016. Available at: http://www.samhsa.gov/disorders. Accessed 13 Apr 2016.
- 2.Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. Behavioral health trends in the United States: results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 15–4927, NSDUH Series H-50). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2015:April 13, 2016.Google Scholar
- 3.NIDA. Costs of Substance Abuse 2015. Available at: https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics. Accessed 13 Apr 2016.
- 6.USPSTF. Recommendations for Primary Care Practice. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. 2013; Available at: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Name/recommendations. Accessed 9th Sept 2016.
- 10.Lanken PN, Novack DH, Daetwyler C, Gallop R, Landis JR, Lapin J, et al. Efficacy of an internet-based learning module and small-group debriefing on trainees’ attitudes and communication skills toward patients with substance use disorders: results of a cluster randomized controlled trial. Acad Med. 2015;90(3):345–54.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 15.Cohen J. Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (revised ed.). 1977.Google Scholar
- 16.U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Human Subjects Research Protections. 2010; Available at: http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/regulations/45-cfr-46/index.html. Accessed 13th Apr 2016.
- 17.Fisher R, Katz JE. Social-desirability bias and the validity of self-reported values. Fisher, Robert J. and James E. Katz (2000) “Social Desirability Bias and the Validity of Self-Reported Values,” Psychology & Marketing 2008;17:105–120.Google Scholar