ISSN: 1230-2813
Advances in Psychiatry and Neurology/Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii
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vol. 27
Original paper

Opinions of Polish psychiatrists on psychiatry and their own professional role

Artur Kochański
Andrzej Cechnicki

Adv Psychiatry Neurol 2018; 27 (1): 31-48
Online publish date: 2018/04/20
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Psychiatry as a discipline of medicine and science is subject to constant social assessment. Psychiatrists – its key representatives – often share discriminating experiences with mentally-ill patients. The aim of the paper is to analyse the attitude of Polish psychiatrists towards psychiatry and their own professional role.

The studied group consisted of Polish psychiatrists. A diagnostic survey in the form of a questionnaire to be filled-in individually was used and 232 questionnaires underwent the final analysis.

According to the majority of psychiatrists (62.9%), the greater part of the society is aware of the fact that psychiatry is a discipline of medicine; 47% of psychiatrists believe that an average citizen considers psychiatric treatment to be either only slightly effective or ineffective at all. According to 53.8% of the respondents, 40 to 100% of the society associates psychiatric therapy with violence. In the opinion of the majority of respondents (84.1%), a small part of the society (up to 40%) believes that psychiatry is a field of magical influences. A small part of the studied doctors (8.6%) claim that most of the society (60% and more) thinks that psychiatry is used to protect individuals who break the law. According to 46.5% of the respondents, a smaller part of the society (up to 40%) claims that psychiatrists become similar to their patients. Most of them (56.9%) think that the prestige of psychiatry in the eyes of doctors of other specialisations is low or very low. According to 62.5% of the studied psychiatrists, doctors of other specialisations think that the effectiveness of psychiatric treatment is average, although most of their colleagues (76.2%) are satisfied with the choice of this specialisation. A vast majority (96.1%) expressed satisfaction with their own choice of medical specialisation. According to the great majority (76.8%), the level of emotional burden related to the work of a psychiatrist is high or very high. Most of the respondents (64.3%) estimate that the level of legal responsibility related to the work of a psychiatrist is more than average. A vast majority of the studied persons (86.6%) claim that financial outlays designated to psychiatry are lower as compared to other disciplines of medicine. Most of the respondents (87.5%) believe that doctors of other specialisations often or very often treat mentally-ill patients in a discriminating manner.

Polish psychiatrists believe that psychiatry is an undervalued and discriminated discipline of medicine. At the same time, they express high level of satisfaction with their choice of this medical specialisation.


opinions about psychiatrists, psychiatry, self-stigmatisation

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