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The use of movies in medical (particularly psychiatric) education has been often limited to portraits of mental illness and psychiatrists. The Psychiatric Institute of the Università del Piemonte Orientale has a longstanding tradition of working with/on movies according to a method developed by Eugenio Torre, using dynamic images as educational incitements. Our aim is to describe the preliminary results on the impact of this intervention in medical students.
The cinemeducation project lasted 6 months, and included 12 meetings. Forty randomly selected participants were assessed with: Attitudes Towards Psychiatry Scale (ATP-30), Social Distance Scale (SDS), Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), and Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), both at baseline and after 6 months, when the workshop was concluded.
A significant increase was found in the ATP-30 score, and a reduction of the SDS and IRI-Personal Distress scale scores.
Informal feedback from participants was strongly positive. Preliminary results from the assessment of participants are encouraging. Students’ attitudes towards psychiatry and ability to tolerate anxiety when experiencing others’ distress improved, while stigma decreased. The evocative power of movie dynamic images, developed in the group and integrated with the help of the group leader, can enrich students’ knowledge, both from a cognitive and emotional standpoint.
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