Description of an elective course about mental illness and treatment in the movies

Marshall E Cates, Kristina M Mullins, Thomas W Woolley


There is little published information about the use of mental illness-themed movies in pharmacy education. In this course, students watched an assigned movie as homework each week, and then during class students presented predetermined aspects regarding the mental illness and its treatment using specific movie clips. The instructor then led the class in discussions about the mental illness and its treatment. Students also prepared and recorded fictitious movie scenes that applied what they had learned about mental illness and treatment to a representative pharmacy situation. Students expressed great satisfaction with the course. Subjective data indicated that learning had taken place in various domains, and scores on pre-/post-course scales had revealed improved attitudes toward mental illness and providing pharmaceutical care to patients with mental illness. Future plans include well-designed studies to determine more definitively the effects of the course on students' knowledge and attitudes regarding mental illness and its treatment.


Film; Mental Disorder; Movies; Pharmacy Student; Teaching

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