Resident Attitudes About Mental Health: a Real-Time Smart Phone Survey
Med Sci Edu
© 2019, International Association of Medical Science Educators. Background: Residents in training have high rates of depression and are reluctant to seek treatment. The goal of the study was to conduct a survey with a high response rate to better understand resident attitudes about mental health. Methods: A multi-site study of residents from three teaching hospitals in the USA completed a 21-item anonymous questionnaire, on their smartphones, during mandatory lecture sessions. Results: Three-hundred and sixteen resident surveys were completed during 24 didactic sessions. The overall response rate from resident-only presentations was 87.8% and ranged from 76.9% to 100% in presentations that included both residents and other attendees. A significant majority of residents indicated that physicians who seek treatment for medical conditions would not seek treatment for depression (87.7%), physicians do not see acceptance of mental health treatment as a sign of strength (80.1%), and most residents with depression cope with it alone (69.0%). Factors that would encourage residents to seek treatment, including easy access to mental healthcare and acceptance of treatment in the workplace environment, varied significantly when residents were grouped by age and gender. Conclusions: While residents believe that physicians are highly resistant to mental health treatment, targeted strategies may increase the acceptance of treatment. Administration of surveys to physicians on smartphones at the time of lecture or presentation may improve the response rate.
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School of Medicine