Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Chris S. Dula

Committee Members

Matt McBee, Jason Steadman, Jon R. Webb


The stigma of mental illness endorsed by healthcare professionals has been linked to adverse outcomes. This issue underscores the need for early anti-stigma interventions in the context of professional training. The present study measured stigma change and suicide screening behaviors among medical, nursing, and pharmacy students enrolled in an interprofessional Communication Skills for Healthcare Professionals course. The Mental Health Knowledge Schedule (MAKS; Evans-Lacko et al., 2010), Opening Minds Scale for Health Care Providers (OMS-HC; Modgill, Patten, Knaak, Kassam, & Szeto, 2014), and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale Form C (M-C SDS Form C; Reynolds, 1982) was administered at baseline (T1), a mid-semester assessment (T2), and post-intervention (T3) to 176 students. Post-intervention changes in stigma components (knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intent) were mixed for all groups. Knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intent did not predict whether students screened for suicidal ideation (p > .05). Findings from the present study support past research indicating that the stigma can be improved with appropriate intervention. Findings also support interprofessional training as an appropriate context for anti-stigma interventions. Currently, there is no general consensus regarding the best method and combination of tools to measure stigma among healthcare students. Additionally, the relationship between stigma and screening for suicidal ideation is an important area for further scientific inquiry.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.