Attitudes of Medical Students’ at Prince of Songkla University (academic year 2016) Towards Alcohol and Substance Abusers
Objective : To explore medical students’ attitude towards alcohol and substance abusers and
the associating factors
Materials and methods : This cross-sectional study surveyed Prince of Songkla University
medical students in academic year 2016. Questionnaires collecting demographic data, which
also included 10 questions regarding one’s attitude toward alcohol and substance use, were
used. We analyzed the data in order to describe the attitude of our subjects by means of
descriptive statistics. The factors associated with alcohol use were analyzed using the Chisquare
test and logistic regressions.
Results : Seven hundred and thirty-nine medical students completed the questionnaires (70%
response rate). The participants were 56% female and 44% male, and their mean age was
21.2 years. Approximately 79% of the medical students had minimal discriminative scores
and high acceptance scores toward substance abusers.Eighty-two percent of them felt they
had received sufficient training in the management of substance abuse, whereas 45% did not
agree that they had enough resources to deal with substance abusers.
Conclusion : Our medical students had a positive attitude toward alcohol and substance
abusers, but about half of them had a negative social perspective toward them. Such
negative attitudes by health professionals damage both the patients’ sense of empowerment
and subsequent treatment outcomes. Nevertheless, they felt they had enough training in the
management of conditions afflicting substance abusers. We suggest that the medical school
curriculum should plays a particularly important role in the education of medical students in
terms of offering a biopsychosocial care and positive attitude to substance abusers.