Three-Year Longitudinal Follow-up of the Psychiatry Early Experience Program (PEEP): Gaining and Sustaining Positive Attitudes Towards Psychiatry in Students at a UK Medical School

Clare Holt, Ross Mirvis*, Jianan Bao, Shoshana Cross, Osman Hussain, Helen Hutchings, Emily Marshall, Henna Qureshi, Francesca Turner, Charlotte Wilson-Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The Psychiatry Early Experience Programme (PEEP) is a novel enrichment activity at Kings College London medical school. Throughout their five-year degree, students shadow trainee psychiatry doctors. The study aimed to evaluate whether more regular early exposure affects attitudes towards psychiatry. Methods: Forty first-year medical students joined PEEP and completed a baseline survey, including questions on demographics, current top three choices of medical specialty and the 30-item Attitudes Towards Psychiatry questionnaire (ATP-30). Participants completed annual follow up surveys, incorporating free-text questions about what students had learned and whether their views about psychiatry had changed. Results: Over three years there was a sustained improvement in mean ATP-30 scores (8.27 points higher at three years than at baseline [95% CI 2.86-13.7, T=3.2, p=0.005]). There was no significant difference between baseline specialty choice and specialty choice at three-year follow-up. At three years there was a 55% response rate. There was no significant association between non-responders at three years and baseline ATP-30, specialty choice or demographic factors. Thematic analysis of qualitative data suggested that PEEP challenged preconceptions towards psychiatry and highlighted its relevance in medicine. Conclusions: The results offer some support that exposure to clinical psychiatry through longitudinal shadowing experiences can sustain positive attitudes. Areas for development include using a control group and following-up participants to the point when they specialize. It remains unclear whether it is most effective to select participants based on established commitment to psychiatry or to try to influence students who are still undecided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-604
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic psychiatry
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Enrichment Activities
  • Psychiatry
  • Recruitment

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