Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2023

Thesis Advisor(s)

Kristin Waters; Brian Aneskievich

Honors Major

Doctor of Pharmacy


Other Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences | Psychiatric and Mental Health


Background: Mental health stigma in providers is one of the greatest barriers in effective care in psychiatric patients. When patients feel stigma towards them, they have lower levels of self-esteem and lower medication adherence. When training healthcare providers, specifically pharmacists, it is important to assess the effectiveness of training at reducing stigma levels. Previous studies have shown that didactic teaching does not significantly decrease stigma in pharmacy students. However, other studies have shown that students who participated in psychiatric rotations have less stigma surrounding mental health following the rotation. Currently there are no studies that assess the same students’ stigma following both didactic teaching and clinical rotation teaching.

Objectives: The objective of this study is to assess the degree of mental health stigma among pharmacy students in a longitudinal fashion and identify the degree to which different teaching modalities impact stigma in the same individual student.

Methods: Pharmacy students will take a survey up to four times during their time in pharmacy school to assess how their stigma levels towards mental health change due to different types of teaching. The survey will ask them to express their opinions about mental illness through multiple choice, ranking, and “slider” type questions. Questions will be both from validated scales as well as created by the researchers. In the first phase of the trial, they will take it pre- and post-didactic teaching of a psychiatric module class. In the second phase, students will take the same survey pre- and post-clinical rotations of psychiatric pharmacy and internal medicine.