Assessment of Saudi Public Knowledge and Attitudes Toward Mental Health Disorders and Its Demographic Correlation

Marwa M. Hosny, Lucja Kolkiewicz, Abdullah AlKhathami


Objectives: To assess Saudi citizen’s level of knowledge, attitude and stigma toward mental disorders and its demographic correlations. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study carried out in 15 PHC centers in Hail City, Saudi Arabia; among 403 participants from Jan to May 2020 by using a questionnaire includes the MH Knowledge Scale (MAKS) to assess the levels of MH literacy and the perceived devaluation and discrimination scale (PDD) to evaluate the levels of MH stigma and among the Saudi populations attended the Primary health Care centers. Results: The findings revealed that only 16% of the participants had a high level of knowledge, and only 22 % had low stigma attitude toward MH illnesses. They expressed high familiarity and recognition of schizophrenia and depression. The higher level of MH knowledge was associated with young age, males, students, and those who had experience with mental disorders or had a relationship with MH patients. High stigma attitude was associated with older participants, those with only primary level education, and housewives. In addition, there was a significant positive correlation between high MH knowledge and a positive stigma attitude. Conclusion: working on enhancing community awareness, promoting education, and developing anti-stigma interventions are highly recommended to ameliorate the level of MH knowledge and attitude to improve MH care.

Keywords: mental health knowledge, stigma, mental disorders, MAKS, PDD, attitude, PHC, Saudi Arabia.

DOI: 10.7176/JHMN/107-01

Publication date: April 30th 2023

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