Status quo of German-speaking medical students' attitudes toward and knowledge about central aspects of forensic psychiatry across four European countries.

Warnke, Ingeborg Lisa Maria; Gamma, Alex; Buadze, Anna; Schleifer, Roman; Canela, Carlos; Rüsch, Nicolas; Rössler, Wulf; Strebel, Bernd; Tényi, Tamás; Liebrenz, Michael (2018). Status quo of German-speaking medical students' attitudes toward and knowledge about central aspects of forensic psychiatry across four European countries. International journal of law and psychiatry, 58, pp. 9-16. Elsevier 10.1016/j.ijlp.2018.02.003

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While forensic psychiatry is of increasing importance in mental health care, limited available evidence shows that attitudes toward the discipline are contradictory and that knowledge about it seems to be limited in medical students. We aimed to shed light on this subject by analyzing medical students' central attitudes toward and their association with knowledge about forensic psychiatry as well as with socio-demographic and education-specific predictor variables. We recruited N = 1345 medical students from 45 universities with a German language curriculum across four European countries (Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Hungary) by using an innovative approach, namely snowball sampling via Facebook. Students completed an online questionnaire, and data were analyzed descriptively and multivariably by linear mixed effects models and multinomial regression. The results showed overall neutral to positive attitudes toward forensic psychiatry, with indifferent attitudes toward the treatment of sex offenders, and forensic psychiatrists' expertise in the media. Whereas medical students knew about the term 'forensic psychiatry', they showed a lack of specific medico-legal knowledge. Multivariable models on predictor variables revealed statistically significant findings with, however, small estimates and variance explanation. Therefore, further research is required along with the development of a refined assessment instrument for medical students to explore both attitudes and knowledge in forensic psychiatry.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Forensic Psychiatric Services
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Warnke, Ingeborg Lisa Maria; Gamma, Alex; Schleifer, Roman; Canela, Carlos and Liebrenz, Michael

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0160-2527

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Antoinette Angehrn

Date Deposited:

08 Jun 2018 11:49

Last Modified:

08 Jun 2018 11:54

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.ijlp.2018.02.003

PubMed ID:

29853018

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Attitudes Forensic psychiatry Knowledge Medical students Medical training

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.117081

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/117081

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