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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163

Abstract

FRANK, Julia B.. Teaching medical students to recognize demoralization. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2013, vol.27, n.1, pp.36-41. ISSN 0213-6163.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4321/S0213-61632013000100005.

Background and Objectives: Concepts such as demoralization fit well into Problem or Case-based learning methods that encourage students to organize knowledge based on clinical problems, rather than according to the disciplines of basic science. Methods: At two US schools, psychiatry clerkship students learn about demoralization and psychotherapy through structured, case based exercises that teach them to elicit and respond to patients´ life stories in ways that emphasize hope and empowerment. Results: Students´ reactions to these exercises, though mixed, suggest that they may enhance students´ understanding of the universal elements of distress (demoralization) that cut across many disabling conditions and of the role that caregivers may play in compounding or relieving this distress. Conclusions: Learning to recognize and respond to demoralization is an advanced communication skill that can be introduced during a psychiatry clerkship.

Keywords : Demoralization; Problem based learning; Medical student education; DSM.

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