Attitudes of mental health workers towards patients with schizophrenia in the Gaza Strip
Omar Yousef Sudkar
عمر يوسف سكر
This study was designed to examine the attitude of mental illness professionals toward individuals with schizophrenia within Gaza Strip. 13 Psychiatrist, 11 Clinical Psychologist, 16 Psychologist, 16 Clinical Social Worker, 35 Psychiatric Nurse and 13 Other (Directorates and Pharmacists ) Professionals were assessed using the General Attribution Questionnaire (G-AQ-23) with eight factors Fear, Dangerousness, Avoid, Anger, Pity, Responsible, Help and Improvable. Of the 104 participants working on General Directorate of Mental Health Ministry of Health MOH included in the convenient sample, 46 were female (44.2%) and 58 were male (55.8%), with ages ranging from 21 through 60 (M = 37.71 years, SD = 8.67 years). Although no statistically significant differences were found between male and female on 5 attitudinal factors, differences were found on 3 factors assessing the emotional responses of fear and help toward persons with schizophrenia, as well as avoid. The result showed that female attitude were more negative on two factors fear and avoid but the female were more positive on help factor. In addition, significant differences were found between the attitudes held by participants with Diploma degree and participants with Master or Doctoral degree on factor of Fear, the diploma were more negative, significant differences were also found between participants with Bachelor’s degree and participants with Master or Doctoral degree on the measure of Anger the Bachelors were more negative on anger factor. One-way ANOVA's test was conducted to understand the differences on attitudes for participants with different position/occupation. the results showed there are significant differences between participants whom reported their positions as Psychiatrist and participants were identified as Psychologist on the factor of Fear. Significant differences were also found between participants whom reported their positions as Psychiatrist and participants were identified as Psychologist, Clinical Social Worker or other on the measure of Responsible. Pearson correlation coefficients were used to determine the strength of relationship between age of participants and their attitudes toward patients with schizophrenia the results showed there are a significant negative correlation between age and all attitudes, except responsible and improvable were insignificantly negatively correlated with age. These results indicate that older professional hold significantly more positive attitudes toward people with schizophrenia than younger participants. Results also indicate that older age, being female, higher education level, and more years of experience providing direct clinical services to persons with schizophrenia have a positive effect on attitude factor. The strength of relationship between years of experience of participants and their attitudes toward patients with schizophrenia were also investigated by Pearson correlation coefficients, correlation analysis showed significant negative correlation between years of experience and all attitudes, except responsible and improvable were insignificantly negatively correlated with years of experience. The findings are congruent with past research findings and support the position that increased knowledge of and more experience with mental illness person is associated with more favorable views.