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Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 1516-4446


MORAES, Erika Neves de Souza et al. Instruction in developmental psychiatry: preliminary findings at the undergraduate level in Brazil. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2011, vol.33, n.3, pp. 287-291. ISSN 1516-4446.

BACKGROUND: Although knowledge on developmental psychiatry is fundamental for the early recognition, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders, this subject has not been incorporated into the medical curriculum or psychiatric practice in Brazil. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of a short course on developmental psychiatry for undergraduate students and to expand education policies concerning developmental psychiatry in Brazil. METHODS: Before and after attending an extracurricular 12-hour, 4-day course on the fundamentals of developmental psychiatry, undergraduate health sciences students were tested regarding their knowledge of the subject. The pre-test/post-test included 12 randomly selected multiple-choice questions designed to evaluate knowledge related to developmental psychiatry and was administered together with a questionnaire designed to evaluate students' attitudes. To compare performances between groups, nonparametric analyses of ordinal categorical data were employed. RESULTS: The final sample comprised 43 students. The mean post-test score was significantly higher than the mean pre-test score (65.0% vs 39.9%; p < 0.0001). We found that strongly positive attitudes correlated with better performance. The 3rd and 4th year medical students performed better than the 1st and 2nd year medical students and the non-medical students. Sex differences favoring males were also observed. CONCLUSION: Our findings encourage additional educational policies related to developmental psychiatry which may result in direct clinical implications.

Keywords : Psychiatry; Education, medical; Education, medical, undergraduate; Educational measurement; Brazil.

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